Grant Application

Joseph Squire, BSN, MSN, UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute

Proposed Innovation

Epicardial pacing is a crucial skill to have when caring for patients following heart surgery — a time when arrhythmias are highly likely to occur. Treating patients with temporary pacemakers can largely prevent or reverse cardiac arrest. But training of clinicians in this important skill is largely theoretical.

This project aims to bridge this gap in training using sophisticated equipment to create simulated life and death situations with instant feedback on pacemaker adjustments.

Improvements in Action

Through this project, high-fidelity simulators will be purchased for use in training staff in cardiac surgical unit advanced life support (CSU-ALS) techniques. Clinicians can gain hands-on experience in adjusting these temporary pacemakers in a safe, simulated setting.

The simulation program will be developed as part of the CSU-ALS training program at UPMC Presbyterian. Clinicians will have the opportunity to become CSU-ALS certified while being trained on the simulator.

Intended Outcomes

Having this realistic epicardial pacing simulator is expected to better prepare clinicians with the skills needed to respond to and prevent cardiac arrest in patients after heart surgery. It’s also anticipated that simulation training will empower clinicians and lead to improved patient outcomes.