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Texas Children's Hospital Opens State-of-the-Art Pediatric Simulation Center

Thursday, November 5, 2009 General News J E 4
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HOUSTON, Nov. 4 Texas Children's Hospital opened the doors of its brand new Simulation Center today, where healthcare teams will be trained in the management of rare, complex, and complicated patient care through a simulated clinical environment. The facility is the only center of its kind in Texas, and one of the largest among the twelve pediatric simulation centers in the United States.

Programs at the Simulation Center will focus on both technical skills, such as CPR or bag mask ventilation, and complex communication between multidisciplinary teams. Each training exercise will prepare individuals to handle events in a coordinated and effective manner in order to bridge the gap between different departments that don't work together on a day-to-day basis, but may come together in crisis situations. From EMT professionals to nurse practitioners and anesthesiologists, groups in the training program will work together in simulated, critical medical events as varied as a patient experiencing cardiac arrest to a fire in the operating room.

"The experience of simulation allows for such an advanced level of training and helps ensure that we are truly prepared to work together as a highly-coordinated team for every patient who needs our help," said Jennifer Arnold, M.D. and medical director of the Simulation Center.

Using high-tech equipment including high-fidelity mannequins, innovative software and audio/visual systems, along with low-tech additions like well-trained actors in the roles of family members, each scenario is manipulated in real time depending on the teams' decisions and actions. In order to create true-to-life scenarios that will improve patient care, the high-tech mannequins are so realistic they can bleed, turn blue and even cry out in labor pain and ask for an epidural.

"We're able to do so much more than just evaluate technical ability," said Arnold. "The center is a great tool for improving communication and overall team interaction which can be just as important in achieving healthy outcomes as the technical and medical care."

The 8,000 square foot facility is comprised of three high-fidelity simulation theatres, five standardized patient training rooms, a flexible clinical skills room and two debriefing rooms. The theatres and the training rooms are all equipped with state-of-the-art audio/video systems that record the simulated event. Each exercise is filmed and reviewed by the team with an in-depth assessment of both clinical and communication skills.

"The technology is so advanced, and the experiences are so believable, that each simulation is an eye-opening experience for the participants," said Kelly Wallin, R.N. and assistant director of the Simulation Center

As the only center of its kind in Texas, and one of the largest among the pediatric simulation centers in the United States, the Simulation Center at Texas Children's Hospital will not only train hospital staff, but will also open its doors to local, national and ultimately international health care providers. Located in the world's largest medical center and the fourth largest city in the nation, the Simulation Center has the potential to impact the care of children around the world.

"This is the next step in figuring out how to make things better for our patients," said Arnold. "There's amazing work to be done here."

By conducting research and using simulation education as a teaching tool to save lives and improve patient care and safety, Texas Children's Hospital continues its mission of providing the highest level of family-centered care.

For more information about Texas Children's Hospital's Simulation Center, please visit www.texaschildrens.org.

For media inquiries please contact:

Nicole Truscinski, 212.677.2748, nicole@meecemedia.com

Elizabeth Hipp, 832.824.2108, emhipp@texaschildrens.org

About Texas Children's Hospital Simulation Center - The Simulation Center at Texas Children's Hospital is a state-of-the-art facility where healthcare teams are trained in the management of rare, complex, and complicated patient care events through a simulated clinical environment. As the only center of its kind in Texas, and one of the largest among the few pediatric simulation centers in the United States, the Pediatric Simulation Center at Texas Children's Hospital is committed to using simulation education as a teaching tool to save lives and improve patient care and safety. For more information, visit www.texaschildrens.org.

SOURCE Texas Children's Hospital
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