Michelle’s thoughts on VAST, January 19 2018

As we wind down our second week of the Vital Anesthesia Simulation Training (VAST)  Course pilot project at the Rwanda Military Hospital, I wanted to share a few thoughts.

Overall this is a comprehensive and incredibly well designed simulation course. The attention to detail by Adam as he wrote the course is to be commended. I congratulate Adam, Patty and Christian on all of their expertise and hard work. Patty forever being our fearless leader.

The RMH was a wonderful venue to host the pilot project with its 2 simulation rooms and conference room. Christian was a champion facilitator and an inspiration to work with.

My role has been cofacilitator and coordinating behind the scenes for the scenarios. ‎As suggested by Paulin, I also helped train Laurence from the CHUK Simulation Centre as it was recognized early on that it is critical to have some one in this coordinator role supporting facilitators. Laurence was a quick study and a joy to work with.

Another significant aspect of the design of the course by Adam is that it could easily be adapted for Interprofessional training. In the future I would love to see nurses involved to increase their knowledge and confidence using SBAR for handover and also participating in urgent scenarios as a team member. It would be invaluable education in non technical skills.

The other notable benefit to VAST is the minimum equipment needed so there is great potential for teaching it in district hospitals and other countries.

It is always with a heavy heart that I leave the Land of a Thousand Hills‎ and all of its wonderful people.  But I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to have participated in this project and thank Adam again for all his hard work, leadership and good spirit.

(A bit more from Patty)

It has been lovely to spend time again with Terri in Rwanda. She came with me during her residency in 2012. She had a huge role in getting the simulation centre established and we have conducted collaborative research projects with our Rwandan partners.


Terri with Christian
VAST debriefing discussion
Debriefing notes, great messages!


Simulated trauma patient
Simulated trauma scenario, primary survey
Simulated obstetrical scenario
After week 2 of the VAST Course, our friends Dylan and Chil invited Michelle and me for dinner at their beautiful home in Kiyovu. Dylan is the CASIEF chair but is working this year in Rwanda with a different program. He, Chil and their three daughters are having a great family experience. The girls are attending a local school in French immersion. Their house is in a quiet neighbourhood with beautiful views of Kigali
Nighttime view from Dylan and Chil’s porch
Delicious home cooked dinner with Terri, Dylan, Chil, Patty and Michelle (photographer here)


Good friends – Patty and Michelle