Nancy Bell Advanced Training Suite opens at Toronto Western

 Clinicians working on a manikins
Teams will train using simulation models and high-fidelity manikins that are able to simulate human reactions from pulses to pupillary reactions. (Photo: Toronto General & Western Hospital Foundation)

A new state-of-the-art advanced training education room has opened at Toronto Western Hospital to help train physicians, nurses and other allied medical staff in life-saving skills during crisis situations.   

In a controlled learning environment, teams of healthcare personnel can replicate life-threatening clinical situations to teach management, communication and team participation skills under real-world time pressures, without endangering a patient’s life.  

The teams use simulation models and high-fidelity manikins that are able to simulate human reactions from pulses to pupillary reactions. Manikins are similar to mannequins, but are used to simulate medical, surgical, or clinical scenarios.   

The room, named the Nancy Bell Advanced Training Suite, is funded through a generous philanthropic donation from the Krembil Foundation, in memory of Stacey Krembil’s mother. Mrs. Krembil, a former nurse herself, wanted to honour the hard-working nurses who were in charge of her mother’s care during her stay at TW.    

The initiative to develop the facility, which is a unique collaboration between anesthesiology, nursing, simulation training and donor support, was led by Dr. Atul Prabhu, Deputy Anesthesiologist-in-Chief at TWH, and Co- Director of the Comprehensive Integrated Pain Program CIPP and the Blood Conservation Program at UHN.   

Though the room will primarily be used to train OR nurses, surgeons, anesthesiologists and their assistants, it will also be used by endoscopy nurses, interventional radiology nurses and technicians and intensive care nurses, physicians and respiratory therapists. Educational researchers will also be able to study different teaching methodologies and its impact on real-life scenarios.   

Group shot at dedication ceremony
(L to R) Dr. Atul Prabhu, Dr. Joy Richards, Stacey Krembil and Kenneth Bell at opening of the Nancy Bell Advanced Training Suite. (Photo: Toronto General & Western Hospital Foundation)

Radiation masks transformed into works of art 

Group of four with masks
(L to R) Radiation therapists (and artists!): Noor Jivraj, Stephanie Mannella, Nishitanben Patel, Winnie Li, Jasmine Chen. (Photo: UHN)

Radiation masks at the Princess Margaret are created for patients receiving radiation treatment in the head and neck area—it helps hold them in place to minimize radiation dose to the tissue outside of the target area. It’s an important step to help reduce side effects and complications, but can also make treatment a very claustrophobic experience.  

The masks are a symbol of courage in our patients’ treatment journeys. Recently, a group of radiation therapists transformed a few into incredible pieces of art to be displayed in the waiting room in celebration of Medical Radiation Therapy (MRT) Week in November. Three masks in total were displayed – one created by Winnie Li and Jasmine Chen, radiation therapists, used the faces of masks to mimic the UHN leaves.    

Winnie Li says they symbolize courage, passion and hope, and truly embody UHN: Courage Lives Here.   

Mask being held in someone’s hands
Radiation therapists added a great level of detail to make the masks as symbolic and beautiful as possible. (Photo: UHN)

UHN teams pack shoeboxes for women in need 

PAC team photo
Members of the UHN Public Affairs and Communications team pose with the shoeboxes they packed for women impacted by homelessness in the community. (Photo: UHN)

UHN’s Corporate and Public Affairs and Communications teams got into the holiday spirit by decorating and packing more than 50 boxes filled with special gifts, such as warm socks, hats and mitts, candy, toiletries and journals, for women impacted by homelessness in our community.   

Since 2011, The Shoebox Project has distributed more than 130,000 Shoeboxes for women across Canada and we at UHN are thrilled to be able to help in some small way.  

Each member of the two teams also had the opportunity to write a heartfelt note to include in the shoeboxes, including inspirational quotes and poems and well wishes for a happy and healthy new year.    

Collection of boxes on a table
A team from UHN Corporate decorated and filled these for The Shoebox Project. (Photo: UHN)
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