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Regional Paediatric ST 1-8 Paediatric Simulation Training Programme

Regional Paediatric ST 1-8 Paediatric Simulation Training Programme

Updates on the use of Simulation Based Medical Education within this Speciality

Simulation in Paediatrics

Fortunately critical illness & injury in children are rare events even in hospitals. The relative infrequency of these events means that health care professionals cannot rely on their daily clinical experience to maintain their knowledge & skills. Simulation training is an ideal way to practise rare events. This is true not only in terms of education & training but also for testing systems and identifying potential errors before they happen to a real patient.

“A simulation in our emergency department revealed a missing emergency resuscitation bag resulting in no bag-valve-mask to ventilate the simulated ‘patient’ who had become apnoeic. When it was eventually found the bag was filled with out of date and non-functional kit. Following this it was overhauled with a system in place to check it regularly. Two months later a real child had a respiratory arrest in the department. The emergency bag was immediately available and correctly stocked allowing the child to be resuscitated successfully.”

The large potential for drug errors, concerns regarding safeguarding and the multiple teams who attend paediatric resuscitations means that Human Factors training is at least as important in paediatrics as it is in other areas of medicine. We employ simulation to deliver this training.

The days of see one, do one, teach one are gone. This is true in children in particular where invasive procedures may be trickier and more distressing for the patient. We can teach technical skills using deliberate practise on part task trainers so that the health care professional is technically proficient before they undertake a procedure on a real child.

For these reasons (practising rare events, testing systems & environments, learning human factors and mastering technical skills) and more simulation training has become and will remain a vital part of paediatric health education.

Dr Niall Mullen
Consultant in Paediatric Emergency Medicine
Sunderland Royal Hospital