Children's Wisconsin offers inside look at how providers train for critical patients

Posted at 10:27 AM, Mar 06, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-06 11:27:00-05

MILWAUKEE — The Dairy Cares of Wisconsin Simulation Lab puts providers to the test and has become the only accredited pediatric simulation program in the state.

The lab, located at the Children's Wisconsin corporate office, provides state-of-the-art equipment to allow care teams to practice handling critical real-life scenarios safely.

The accreditation for Excellence in Teaching and Education was issued by the Society of Simulation in Healthcare. The lab is 1 of 20 of its kind across the country

"That is the world’s largest accrediting body. It is a peer-reviewed process that looks at the intentional practice of simulation, the education, best practice standards, as well as research and innovation, and how you’re moving the field of medicine forward," Dr. Tara Petersen explained.

Dr. Petersen is the medical director of the Dairy Cares of Wisconsin Simulation Lab.

In a demonstrated resuscitation simulation scenario, a 6-month-old baby was experiencing critical breathing issues.

While working on a high-tech mannequin the Children's Wisconsin team must resuscitate the child as if it was truly life or death.

Next door, another team is altering the mannequin's reactions as realistically as possible from their heart rate to their movement.

"That is where we build ourselves to be stronger to be better to be faster, and to provide the best and safest care for your children before they even come here," Dr. Petersen stated.

The lab is open 24/7. Care teams practice everything from emergencies to communicating with patient families.

It is a tool that reaches communities beyond our area.

"We've had individuals and institutions from over 13 different states come specifically to Children's Wisconsin to receive simulation training here and that is because of the mannequins that we have here as well as the technology and the quality of our teachers," Dr. Petersen added.

Once the simulation piece is done training continues in the debriefing room. That is where the team can go over what went well, and what needs improvement and ask questions with no judgment.

Katie McDermott is the program director at the lab.

"It's a great way to get people trained to start a new role as a healthcare, professional and it's also a great way to maintain skills or learn new skills. Healthcare is changing all the time," McDermott said.

The practice runs are consistent but vary putting providers to the test.

"It's always anxiety because you never quite know what's going to happen, but that's real life for us in medicine," pediatric nurse practitioner Jennifer Pfister said.

"Translate that into what we do on a regular basis I am more communicative with the people that I'm working with, talking through what we actually think is going on with a patient," added Dr. Meaghan Reaney.

The regular reps in the lab make the providers even stronger.