Nurses Perfect Skills

More than 100 nurses at Nacogdoches Medical Center know they can go to work with the confidence they need to do their job well. They spent the day sharpening skills needed to protect their patients at a clinical workshop.

One exercise included calling a code. In a life or death situation you want a medical staff trained on a not so real victim before attempting delicate procedures on your body. A mannequin lies on the table. The mannequin, called Phil is much more sophisticated than the mannequin people use for CPR training. It can blink its eyes, have its tongue swell, breathe and even respond to real medications. He's provided by PHI Air Medical, the largest medical air service in Texas.

Respiratory therapist Jennifer Bragg tries a procedure that only doctors do at her hospital. But by having this hands on practice she gains a better appreciation for everyone involved in a real code. Bragg said, "You have to look for the vocal chords. They have all the anatomy very similar to a real human being and you have to find all those things to function properly during a code."

Hospital director Gary Stokes is pleased with the training. "The key in health care you've got to have people that are educated and every time we turnaround there's more state of the art, new things out there, so we want to make sure our folks are kept current." About 16 work stations provided nurses best practice techniques, something staff development director Kathy Lane attempts to achieve everyday. "What we're concentrating on today are skills that they have already learned either here or when they were in school, but things we want to be sure they are up to date on and if they have any questions give them a chance to ask those questions."

Training provides confidence, no matter how much experience a person may have. And as a patient you want health providers willing to perfect their skills.