Practice Makes Perfect: Meet Noelle and Baby Hal


The delivery went well but now the new mom is experiencing a postpartum hemorrhage. Some nurses or nursing students might not know what to do.

CHI Health’s NOELLE™ OB Simulation Model is here to help.

“We simulate real-life patient scenarios in a learning environment that allows practicing new skills, reviewing protocols and reinforcing new procedures,” said CHI Health Clinical Nurse Specialist Rachelle Heser, MSN, APRN, RNC-OB, C-EFM. “We practice drills for high-risk, low-frequency situations.” Practice that one day could save lives.

“Drills increase the confidence, competence and skills of those caring for the patient when a real-life situation arises,” Heser said. “At the end of the drills/simulation, we conduct a debrief that discusses what went well and what could have gone better.”

It’s a valuable learning experience. New nurses in the nurse residency program benefit. So do current nurses, nursing students, OB residents and OB techs.

“Simulations are a great way to bring together multiple disciplines to expose them repeatedly to a certain event or practice to improve awareness, skill and response,” said CHI Health OB/GYN Physician Meaghan Shanahan, MD.

“There continues to be increasing morbidity and mortality in obstetric patients here in the United States,” she said. “These lead to increased blood transfusion, additional surgeries, hysterectomies and maternal deaths. In standardizing and preparing for how we treat these patients, we can recognize postpartum hemorrhages earlier with earlier and successful interventions to prevent bad outcomes.”

The team can include MDs, midwives, nurses, OB residents, OB techs, surgical techs and medical or nursing students.

The OB Simulation “baby” is named Baby Hal. He and Noelle have been traveling to critical access hospitals in the region to help train and educate, as well as review newborn care, resuscitation and assessment. Paramedics in those cities have participated as well.