New SMART rotation of military personnel in VUH clinical areasApr. 13, 2023, 8:39 AM
by Jill Clendening
The next Strategic Medical Asset Readiness Training (SMART) rotation, which includes 15 members the United States military, is at Vanderbilt University Medical Center to work in clinical areas of the adult hospital April 11-25.
The U.S. Army Medical Command developed Operation SMART to establish partnerships with civilian health care facilities and verified Level 1 trauma centers such as VUMC to enhance the training of military medical personnel.
“It is such an honor to be able to support our soldiers,” said Wendy Paszek, RN, CNOR, a preceptor for the SMART program. “While they are here at Vanderbilt, we provide them with the opportunity to see high-acuity cases and complex procedures they are not exposed to at their home base hospitals but that correlate with what they may experience in the field. Our operating room personnel are eager to share their knowledge with the soldiers in a supportive learning environment.”
While these personnel are well equipped to provide routine health care for soldiers and their families, they often have limited exposure to trauma and critical care when they are not deployed.
The SMART program enables them to sustain and expand their skills as they care for a greater number of high-acuity patients. High-acuity patients are those with challenging medical conditions who often have significant, unpredictable needs requiring a high level of monitoring and care.
To date, 94 military members have trained at the Medical Center as part of the SMART program since its inception in May 2021. During their two weeks at VUMC, SMART participants rotate through the emergency department, operating rooms, Surgical Intensive Care Unit, Post-anesthesia Care Unit, Burn Intensive Care Unit, Trauma Intensive Care Unit, Labor & Delivery and Orthopaedic Clinic.
SMART rotators are licensed or certified in their specialty, and while at VUMC they are active in all aspects of patient care, from triage to discharge. Each SMART participant has an individual critical task list, or a list of specific skills required by the U.S. Army to maintain their combat readiness.
During their rotation, there is an emphasis on patient assessment, trauma resuscitations, and medication and blood administration.
The Vanderbilt Military Affairs Committee is also conducting a survey of all departments, units and sections to identify all military-civilian programs and projects ongoing at VUMC, including partnerships with military organizations for rotators to come to the Medical Center, training, contracts, etc. Complete the survey: https://redcap.link/u3n1ki3s.