Patient Experience

Second Nature

Nurses Jillian Russell, Jessica Gomez and Van Jaymar Mariano at the training facility in Baytown
Simulation Training Syncs with Unparalleled Patient Care
Registered nurse Sarai Lerma says she sometimes felt overwhelmed as a newcomer on the hospital floor at Houston Methodist Baytown Hospital. As is common among new nurses, unease at the thought of not completing a task correctly weighed on her, and Lerma turned to her nursing manager with her concerns.
“The education team helped me practice my IV insertion skills on a manikin, and the simulation experience reduced my anxiety,” says Lerma. “I am grateful to work with people who have a true calling to help new nurses.”
Lerma refers to the Clinical Education and Training Facility at Houston Methodist Baytown. Made possible by a major anonymous gift in 2018 and now conveniently located on the hospital campus, the 7,112-square-foot simulated learning environment offers the latest in medical education technology. Realistic manikins provide hands-on training for a range of human health conditions, resulting in enhanced patient care.
Health care professionals work in teams and are always striving to keep their skills current to ensure the best outcomes for patients. An example was the need to hone patient proning skills during the COVID-19 pandemic. Proning is the process of safely turning a patient from the back to the stomach so the individual is lying face down, often beneficial for breathing-compromised COVID-19 patients. Houston Methodist Baytown caregiver teams came together in the facility to successfully practice the slow, controlled team movement.
“The facility is designed to provide staff with comprehensive education to perfect skills, improve confidence, and elevate care and service to the highest standard,” says David P. Bernard, CEO of Houston Methodist Baytown and senior vice president of Houston Methodist. “We will be forever grateful to the family who invested here and then challenged others to join them with their own philanthropic commitments,” Bernard adds. “And we are excited that the donor family requested the facility be named in honor of Lupe and Pete Alfaro, whose service to the hospital and community is unparalleled.”
Pete Alfaro, a former mayor of Baytown, serves as a trustee of Houston Methodist Baytown and chairs its Patient Family Advisory Council. The Alfaros’ dedication to the hospital and the patient experience stems in part from the unexpected death of their daughter at another hospital outside the greater Houston area — an experience from which they wish to protect other families.
Pete’s enthusiasm for the training opportunity shines through when he speaks. “Lupe and I are passionate about providing health care professionals with the quality learning resources they need to practice or enhance their skills to benefit patients and their families,” Pete explains. “Patients should be the center of everything that is done in a hospital, and that’s why we all work so hard at Houston Methodist Baytown to support the doctors, nurses, and other care providers in our community."