Critical Care Fellows Gain Hands-on Experience in 3rd Annual Bootcamp

Critical care fellows from four departments practiced essential skills on simulation equipment and learned from new faculty during the third annual multidisciplinary Critical Care Medicine Bootcamp this August.

The three-day bootcamp provided fellows with a common foundation as they begin their training, which is particularly important given that critical care fellows come from many different training backgrounds, representing the Departments of Anesthesiology, Emergency Medicine, Neurology, and Surgery.

The bootcamp was organized by the Department of Anesthesiology, with support and assistance from staff in the Center for Safety, Simulation & Advanced Learning Technologies (CSSALT). Fellows attended a variety of sessions on topics such as airway devices and techniques, mechanical ventilation, and catheter insertion.

Doctor Cates demonstrating intubation

“The purpose of the bootcamp is to help bring all of the fellows to a basic level of understanding and knowledge of common disorders that we treat here at UF Health,” said Peggy White, M.D, associate professor of anesthesiology and director of the Department of Anesthesiology’s Critical Care Medicine Fellowship.

The strains caused by the COVID-19 pandemic presented some challenges for the bootcamp, but organizers overcame the hurdles to successfully provide trainees with an important educational experience. 

“We were able to persevere and still have faculty attend and give lectures, as well as have fellows who were able to be relieved of their clinical duties to participate in this event,” White said. “Every year I think we continue to improve on the curriculum, dive down a little deeper on some of the topics, and offer different types of adult learning, not just lectures but also simulation training and task trainers so they get hands-on experience on mannequins in a low-stress environment.”

E-C-M-O machine being demonstrated

The bootcamp also provided fellows with the opportunity to participate in simulation training with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, or ECMO, machines. ECMO is a form of life support that performs the functions of the heart and lungs outside of the body. This is the second year that the bootcamp has provided training on the machines.

With increasing numbers of patients needing ECMO support because of COVID-19, as well as many patients who are awaiting lung transplant, the ECMO training was even more important this year.

“We have a clear presence in helping take care of those patients,” White said. “Training and getting an in-depth understanding of how to troubleshoot issues with ECMO is very important for our fellows as they rotate through that ICU.”

This year, two UF Health advanced practice providers also participated in the bootcamp for the first time. “We’re now starting to incorporate them because they work closely as a team,” White said.

Learn more about our Critical Care Medicine Fellowship.