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Mile Bluff Medical Center
1050 Division Street | Mauston, WI 53948 | 608-847-6161

Continuing education is a high priority for Mile Bluff’s team

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Mile Bluff Medical Center is committed to providing compassionate and progressive care, while improving the health and wellness of the community and going beyond expectations in healthcare today and always. The organization prides itself on providing care to patients with state-of-the-art technologies and medical techniques. One reason the team is able to carry out its mission is because of the training opportunities that are continually made available to Mile Bluff staff members. Educating the experts is something the organization puts a high priority on as it looks ahead in order to meet the future needs of the community it serves.

Director of Education
In the fall of 2016, Mile Bluff welcomed Dena Jarog, DNP, RN as the Director of Education. Dena’s role at the organization is to connect Mile Bluff employees with educational resources that expand team members’ ability to provide high quality, safe and efficient care to the community.

“The first thing I was charged with was evaluating the knowledge and understanding of the staff and other care providers as it related to the care and treatment they provide,” explained Dena. “Based on that assessment, I created educational lectures and other training. I also coordinate classes and bring in instructors for on-site education. My goal in this first year was to focus on building a foundation of education. This will help to build employee confidence and knowledge as changes and new treatments become available.”

Healthcare is changing rapidly. In order for Mile Bluff employees to keep up with the developments in the industry, education is essential. “We want to make sure that all employees have the opportunity to learn in a way that is best for them,” explained Dena. “Patients benefit from the education as it ensures only the best and safest practices are being used while they are in our care. Education allows caregivers the ability to practice new skills in a safe environment, reducing errors, and helping to make those skills ‘automatic’ and safe.”

Mile Bluff also looks to educate others outside of the organization. “We offer certification classes to outside providers,” said Dena. “We provide training in advanced life support courses for obstetrics, pediatrics and adults. We also invite other facilities to attend our nursing education series. These organizations can send their nursing staff members to the classes and also benefit from improved knowledge and understanding.”

Emergency management education
Education is the development of knowledge and skills that can be used in the future. With this in mind, Mile Bluff educates and prepares staff members for possible community emergency events.

Mary Crowley, RN is the Emergency Management Director at Mile Bluff. She develops programming that supports Mile Bluff’s emergency event response, and ensures that all staff members are educated on the roles they play in emergency response.
“Education is a huge component of staff member preparedness in emergency situations,” explained Mary. “I see training exercises as the opportunity to reinforce knowledge and certain practices, as well as to provide the opportunity to experience event response in a structured manner that simulates conditions possible in an actual event.”

To Mary, emergency preparedness is a matter of hoping for the best while preparing for the worst. “At Mile Bluff, every employee is responsible for some component of emergency response,” explained Mary. “When an emergency occurs, there usually is not much warning, and actions need to be as time-sensitive as possible. This means that every employee needs to have some rapid recall, or ‘muscle memory,’ for what needs to be done immediately. These events don’t occur often in our community, but as an organization, we need to use training and practice to reinforce our response skills.”

Since large-scale emergencies can impact the entire community, Mile Bluff works closely with other response agencies to prepare. “Every agency has its own set of skills and responsibilities that it brings to an emergency event response,” explained Mary. “Working, practicing and training with our local EMS, law enforcement, fire departments and Public Health partners, improves how each organization works together, prioritizes, coordinates and communicates when responding to an emergency event.”

As a lifelong resident of Juneau County, Mary feels that preparing for emergency situations is essential for the welfare of the community. “In order for Mile Bluff to continue to improve our emergency response, our employee education, training and practice needs to be an ever-evolving process. ‘It will never happen here,’ is just a happy thought. The unfortunate reality is that bad things do happen. However, when those bad things happen, I know that the staff at Mile Bluff will be ready to care for those in need.”
Over the next few months, Mile Bluff will be participating in several drills and emergency event response trainings, including the PATRIOT North exercise with the National Guard. Be on the lookout for additional information about these in future issues of the Mile Bluff Times.

Whether it’s brushing up on CPR skills or holding simulated drills to prepare for a large-scale disaster, education is a continual process that is a top priority at Mile Bluff Medical Center.

Pictured above: During a training exercise in the fall, Mile Bluff’s HAZMAT team worked with Emergency Management Director, Mary Crowley, to use the decontamination tent.

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