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Using life-like simulation to address a maternal care crisis in a growing number of rural communities

Your support will let our nurse educators bring high-fidelity birthing simulation to rural sites around the region, increasing our ability to meet a growing gap in specialized care for women living in rural communities. 

Addressing a Maternal Care Crisis

Women in a growing number of rural communities are facing a crisis. Their immediate access to maternal health services is shrinking or disappearing altogether. 

  • Nebraska currently ranks 9th worst in the country for number of women living with limited or no access to maternity care, according to the March of Dimes.
  • 15% to 20% of all birthing-age women in Nebraska live in a county without maternal care - that’s about 80,000 women.
  • 16% of Nebraska mothers have to travel at least 30 minutes to a care provider.

Methodist Women’s Hospital is dedicated to doing more to address this crisis through education and innovation. Your support is crucial. 

Right now, nurse educators from Methodist Women's Hospital share best practices, training and resources with caregivers from almost four dozen rural communities in Nebraska, Iowa, and Missouri. The goal is to keep rural OB/GYN patients close to home while ensuring healthy pregnancies and deliveries. 

The team conducts continuing education and fellowships in Omaha. It also goes on-site to critical access hospitals in rural areas. One tool they cannot travel with, right now, is Victoria, the hospital's life-sized and high-fidelity birthing simulator. 

“You can customize the simulator’s birthing scenarios to whatever you like. Victoria can deliver Caesarian. She can deliver breach. She can have a seizure or a post-partum hemorrhage,” said Methodist’s Ashley Denker, MSN, clinical nurse educator.

If rural providers want to practice with Victoria, they have to come to Methodist Women’s Hospital. With your support, the outreach team will be able to purchase a Sprinter van, a second Victoria and a mobile newborn manikin – and meet providers where they are. 

“In a critical access hospital, providing educational experiences for our nurses is essential,” said Amanda Cook, a registered nurse in Wayne, NE. “It helps our nurses stay competent in their skills and gives them opportunity to use simulation in a safe environment where they can ask questions.”