The emergency department at Hamilton General Hospital (HGH) doesn’t often see very sick pediatric patients. Generally, children are brought to McMaster Children’s Hospital (MCH), which is specifically designed as a Children’s only Emergency Department. Sometimes, very sick or badly injured children are brought to HGH because they need immediate help, and MCH is too far to go.
“Sick pediatric patients aren’t common here,” says Dr. Kyla Caners, an emergency doctor at Hamilton Health Sciences, who is based at HGH. “This was highlighted as an area where we could be a little bit more efficient, and our staff wanted to feel more comfortable managing these patients.”
The team decided to use simulation training to identify small inefficiencies in the way they handle emergencies with children. Participants gather around a child-size mannequin and are briefed on the “patient’s” symptoms and condition. They begin patient care, and the simulation leader updates them with new information along the way. To make the experience authentic, they use real-life scenarios and the mannequin is attached to monitors that track its vital signs. Afterward, they debrief and identify issues and possible fixes.