Michaud Expeditionary Medical Facility Awarded Tri-Service Nursing Research Grant

US Navy | 2021-10-28

By Petty Officer 1st Class Jacob Sippel

CAMP LEMONNIER, Djibouti – Michaud Expeditionary Medical Facility, stationed at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, (CLDJ) has been awarded the Tri-Service Nursing Research Grant for a mini Evidenced-Based Practice (EBP) grant entitled "Using Training and Simulation to Improve Teamwork in Trauma Management in Forward Deployed Staff."


The purpose of this initiative is to implement an evidence-based education and training intervention, comprised of weekly simulation using hyper-realistic moulage with live actors in trauma/mass casualty situations.

The goal will be to improve team dynamics among staff members (physician, nurses, and corpsmen) deployed to CLDJ, the Navy's only forward-deployed base on the African continent. The team leads for the research project include: Lt. Alainna Crotty, Lt. Alex Miller, Lt. Amanda Brock, Lt. Cmdr. Dan Gardner and Lt. Cmdr. Grady Fortner. Going forward, all EMF personnel will be involved in the drill and simulation exercises.

“The technology and equipment provided by this grant will greatly enhance the training capabilities and readiness of the EMF,” said Lt. Cmdr. Erik Olson, trauma surgeon at Michaud EMF. “The combat moulage and manikins will create realistic battle wounds such as gunshot wounds, burns, and even amputations for our corpsmen and medical staff to visualize and treat. This provides experience with seeing devastating wounds and hopefully helps prepare us for real-life casualties. “

“We provide medical care to service members from 5th and 6th Fleets, AFRICOM, and CLDJ, as well as to the many contractors that operate in the Horn of Africa Area of Operations (AOR),” explains Lt. Alainna Crotty, a team lead for the research project. “As such, we have a large variety of patients that come in and out of our facility on a regular basis and operate with minimal supplies in an austere environment. By combining our current regimen with simulation training, we can improve unit cohesion, and most importantly, the care we provide our patients.”

Prior to starting the project, the Team Emergency Assessment Measure (TEAM) tool will collect preassessment data. It is a valid measure of team dynamics for teams managing simulated patients. The TEAM tool categories include leadership, teamwork, task management, and overall rating of performance. The categories will assess leadership control, communication, co-operation and coordination, team climate, adaptability, situation awareness, prioritization, and clinical standards.

“The manikins cut suits offer the best available simulation training for procedures such as chest tube placement and simulating surgical procedures in both the chest and the abdomen. This includes performing procedures to treat injuries to lungs and vital organs and blood vessels in the abdomen with simulated blood flowing through the manikin,” says Olsen. “Overall, the grant allows vital training opportunities to our corpsmen, nurses, and medical providers to maintain our skills while forward deployed.”

Operational deployments can be challenging for high performing doctors and nurses that are used to caring for critical patients on a daily basis. Cmdr. Tara McGinnis, Michaud EMF officer-in-charge, says high fidelity training is essential.

“With long periods that can exist between unstable patients requiring critical surgical and medical interventions, high fidelity simulation training is essential in ensuring the best outcomes for our patients,” states McGinnis. “I am incredibly proud of our team for identifying this need, working the long hours required to put such a project request forward. These projects are highly competitive in our community and the awarding of the project is a testament to the quality of professionals that I am blessed to work for every day at the EMF. “

Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti serves as an expeditionary base for U.S. military forces providing support to ships, aircraft and personnel that ensure security throughout Europe, Africa and Southwest Asia. The base enables maritime and combat operations in the Horn of Africa while fostering positive U.S.-Africa relations.