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The Simulation Center at Texas Children’s Hospital: Practice Makes Perfect

Simulation Center

The Simulation Center at Texas Children’s Hospital is a multidisciplinary, hospital-based center providing hands-on pediatric and obstetric simulation training in a realistic environment to improve patient safety and patient care. Below is a reflection on our experiences in the simulation center from the opportunities we have had during Texas Children’s Hospital.

Physician Assistant Surgical Fellowship: As Physician Assistant Surgical Fellows at Texas Children’s Hospital we have had many different opportunities to develop our skills as providers. One of the ways in which we have been able to practice our clinical skills has been through the Simulation Center located here at Texas Children’s Hospital. The opportunity has provided us clinical skills practice such as chest tube placement and central line placement and also to practice providing care of a simulated patient within a team of providers. Practicing providing care through these different patient scenarios has allowed each of us to reflect on how we interact with each other in a stressful environment, as well as identify areas in which we can improve all aspects of patient care. These experiences that we have been fortunate to participate in have impacted us as providers. Talking about a poor outcome is something that we all hope we never have to do, but it is a part of our job. The chance to practice such situations in a simulated environment allows us to learn from the situation and to truly assess our skills as clinicians. I cannot stress the value of these opportunities. I am grateful for the education and reflection that the simulation center has provided for us. It is a reminder of what an amazing institution we are a part of with resources that every provider should have the opportunity to take advantage of. By: Lesley Davies

As a provider who wants to give the best care to my patients, delivering bad news is one of the hardest parts of the job. I have always been nervous about it and have never received formal training. I tried to think about how to tell a parent about a suboptimal outcome.  If I were a parent, how would like to receive bad news? Are there certain aspects I should consider prior to this conversation? In June, my fellow colleges and I attended a simulation lab at Texas Children’s taught by the inspiring, Dr. Jennifer Arnold. We received a thorough lecture and had a discussion about the essential aspects of delivering bad news to patient families. Next, our skills were put into action with simulation scenarios. Both scenarios challenged us as providers and led us to further discussion on how we can continue to improve. My colleagues and I truly benefitted from our simulation experience and are prepared to put what we’ve learned into practice. It is opportunities such as these that make Texas Children’s an amazing organization to work for. I am proud to be a part of an organization that continues to invest in their providers to create a better experience for their patients and families. By: Jacqueline Guarino

Over the summer the PA fellows and I had the privilege of joining an ICU Boot Camp put on by Dr. Danny Castro for incoming MD Fellows in critical care, emergency medicine, cardiology, hospitalist and pediatric surgery. Throughout this boot camp we practiced real-life clinical scenarios. We quickly developed a rapport with the MD fellows and worked together to provide the best possible care for our patients. We practiced different simulated scenarios and worked together to quickly care for our patient. One of our patients was a simulation baby, which was was equipped with breath sounds, voice-activated commands, pulses, IV access, and vital signs. With the resources we had available during this simulation, we had to determine the problem and give the correct medication and dosage coupled with medical management in order to successfully manage the simulation baby. After the simulation was over, we were able to debrief and talk about what we did well, how we worked together as a team and where we had areas for improvement should we be faced with a real-life scenario similar to our simulation practices. The environment of boot camp really reinforced the need for teamwork in the healthcare setting. It takes a team effort during difficult situations to be able to provide exceptional care for patients. Learning together and working together was a great opportunity that we look forward to applying in our daily practices here at Texas Children’s Hospital. By: Caitlin Justus

To learn more about Texas Children’s Pediatric Surgery Fellowship for Physician Assistants visit, here. To learn more about our Simulation Center, visit here.

Lesley Davies, Pediatric Surgery Physician Assistant Fellow