Monthly sim events enhance APP skills

Published by Frank Ruggiero on

From left, Advanced Practice Provider (APP) simulation facilitator April Lee guides APP Sarah Whitten through a procedural line insertion simulation. APPs of all experience levels may participate in procedural simulations through UAB Clinical Simulation.

By Diana Darr

Outstanding patient care? There’s an APP for that, and UAB Clinical Simulation is here to help Advanced Practice Providers (APPs) refine their skills to provide such care. 

UAB Clinical Simulation’s procedural sim team hosts monthly events where APP learners work with trained simulation facilitators to practice critical procedures such as central line and arterial line insertion.

APPs of all experience levels participate in these simulation events. Simulation is an ideal learning environment for APPs to practice procedures for several reasons:  

  • Safe Environment: Simulation provides a safe space for learners to make mistakes without consequences. This freedom from risk allows learners to explore, experiment and learn from errors without compromising patient safety. 
  • Repetition: Simulation offers the perfect platform for repetitive practice. Learners can repeat procedures multiple times, reinforcing muscle memory and building confidence.  
  • Feedback: Immediate feedback is a crucial component of simulation-based learning. Simulation facilitators can provide personalized feedback based on learners’ performance, identifying areas for improvement, and reinforcing correct techniques. 

April Lee, CRNP, an APP simulation facilitator, emphasized the importance of procedural simulation for new APPs, stating, “Simulation is imperative for new APPs as they can practice the procedure several times to establish proficiency in a realistic learning environment. It helps them get comfortable with using ultrasound machines and practice techniques that come with experience.” 

The groundwork for these monthly sessions was laid by APP leads in the pulmonary and critical care division. Nate Bush DNP, CRNP, supervises APPs in the Pulmonary Critical Care Division at UAB. He explained the benefits of simulation stating, “Simulation is a setting that reduces distraction, allowing APPs to learn skills in a safe environment before caring for critical patients.” He added that APPs who learn these skills in a low-pressure environment can more easily recall this information at the bedside.  

The vision for UAB Clinical Simulation’s Procedural Simulation Program is to create evidence-based, standardized training modules for every procedure performed at UAB. These modules will serve as the “UAB Way,” ensuring consistency and excellence across the institution. Collaborating with clinical experts, simulationists and educators, UAB Clinical Simulation aims to implement simulation-based procedural training using a structured framework for skills acquisition.  

To learn more about the Procedural Simulation Program, visit here

UAB Medicine’s Clinical Simulation program offers opportunities for individuals and teams across UAB Medicine and beyond to practice before they deliver care. We encourage all who provide and support patient care to “SimFirst.” Together, we can put our patients’ safety first.


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