Woodward, Okla. —
Staff at Woodward Regional Hospital recently underwent extensive training to help ensure that the facility is prepared to handle situations involving some of the most critical patients.
This week staff had training in both STABLE, for the per-transport stabilization of sick infants, as well as HAZWOPER, or hazardous waste operations and emergency response, for handling situations involving hazardous materials.
TRAINING TO KEEP BABIES STABLE
Grace Moyer, education coordinator for Woodward Hospital, described STABLE as "a 2-day training in which people involved in the medical field learn to stabilize sick infants for transfer to a different facility which can provide a higher level of care."
Moyer said this is important training for hospitals such as Woodward's which don't have the proper facilities to offer the best care for such precious patients.
"Woodward Regional Hospital has to transfer high risk babies that we're unable to treat. We're not that level of a facility where we can take care of babies with emergency health conditions; they need a neonatal intensive care unit for that," she said. "So we hold STABLE training to prepare staff to ready infants for transfer to a hospital that is better equipped for them."
Moyer said, STABLE is an acronym to remind staff of the main areas they need to be concerned with during the transport of an infant:
S - blood sugar regulation,
T- temperature regulation and heat loss,
A - airway management and management of respiratory distress,
B - blood pressure and treatment of shock,
L- lab work, and
E- emotional support for families in crisis.
"Some of the things they might learn are, for example, during respiratory distress they learned the amount of oxygen a newborn needs, or during the labs portion they learn about the type of antibiotic infants need to fight infection as well as what medicines they're sensitive to," Moyer said.
In addition to a lecture period, the STABLE training involved hands-on exercises.
During one of the exercises, medical staff practiced placing a ventilation tube into the airway of a simulated baby.