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Paeds Sim: Not for Dummies

Summary by: Alice Young

Simulation is one of the most important advances in healthcare education and skills training of our generation. We now have simulation mannequins that can blink, breath, or even give birth thus allowing us to practice scenarios and skills before we encounter them in real patients. However, these sim dummies are not real people and so it is all too easy to dehumanize the scenario. According to Dr Phil Hyde, Director of Children’s Major Trauma and Southampton Children’s Hospital, it is this lack of emotional attachment that makes pure sim inadequate for training health care professionals in the management of trauma – especially trauma in children.

In his talk from SMACC Chicago, Dr Phil Hyde illustrates why he and his colleagues have developed an educational program that takes sim to the next level. The key difference in this sim program is the incorporation of volunteer children to play the roles of injured paediatric patients. Another key aspect of this program are the incorporation of multidisciplinary teams including undergraduate students for all scenarios.

The benefits of such a program have been far reaching. For the health professionals involved, it humanizes the scenario and induces an emotional attachment to the training exercise which adds an essential component to the training. Furthermore, it teaches professionals from different fields (nursing, medicine, allied health etc) to work together in these scenarios as would normally occur in real life. For the children involved, it is a safe controlled environment where they can learn about the health professionals and the health system, they learn about primary prevention and they can provide feedback to staff from a different vantage point. The community benefits through the improved primary prevention which is the most important aspect of treating trauma, a “man made disease”.

This is a simple, yet powerful program that has so many benefits beyond the training of doctors and nurses to manage children involved in trauma. This is an intriguing, innovative talk that everyone can take something away from.

Southampton Children’s Hospital is part of the University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation trust. It is one of the largest teaching trusts in the UK. All of the simulation programs developed by Dr Phil Hyde and his colleagues at Southampton are open access and available for all health professionals to incorporate into their practice.

The Podcast

The Slides


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