2024 Pediatric Simulation Experience Highlights

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Report from the Pediatric Simulation Experience 2024 held in Novara, Italy, with its key outcomes and educational advancements

From April 11th to 12th, 2024, Novara, Italy played host to the sixth edition of the Pediatric Simulation Experience (PSE). This premier event, primarily targeting pediatric residents, was meticulously organized by SIMNOVA, the simulation center at the University of Piemonte Orientale (UPO). The event was held in collaboration with UPO’s Division of Pediatrics, underpinning its academic rigor and commitment to high-quality pediatric training. The Italian Medical-Nurse Academy of Pediatric Emergency and Intensive Care (AMIETIP) and the Italian Society of Medical Simulation (SIMMED) also supported the event, highlighting its importance and national relevance.

Since its inception in 2016, PSE has evolved significantly, improving and expanding its curriculum with each new edition to keep pace with advancements in pediatric care and simulation technology. This year PSE opened with an engaging conference opened to a wide audience that introduced participants to the principles of cockpit/crisis resource management, a vital skill set for handling emergencies in medical settings. Additionally, the conference covered contemporary issues in neonatal and pediatric emergency care, attracting renowned experts in these fields.

Innovative Training Stations and Participant Engagement

Dr. Marco De Luca, president of SIMMED, together with Pier Luigi Ingrassia, president-elect of the Society for Simulation in Europe (SESAM), delivered the opening remarks of the two days of practical sessions. They set the stage for what was a transformative learning experience for the attendees.

Throughout the event, 35 pediatric residents from 10 different Italian medical schools engaged in 14 diverse training stations. These stations offered a variety of simulation styles and methodologies, designed by facilitators from both national and international simulation centers including SIMNOVA (Novara, Italy), SimMeyer (Florence, Italy), Gemelli Training Center (Rome, Italy), SimDream (Padua, Italy), and CeSi (Lugano, Swiss). The simulations ranged from high-fidelity neonatal and pediatric scenarios to a virtual reality environment, and even included a low-resource setting to mimic real-life constraints found in less equipped facilities. One of the unique aspects of this year’s event was the ‘error room’, designed to teach residents how to effectively manage and learn from mistakes in a controlled, supportive environment. Additionally, procedural skill labs focusing on critical tasks such as vascular access were complemented by soft-skills stations. These included communication exercises involving a simulated patient, enhancing the residents’ ability to interact empathetically and effectively with patients of various ages.

Closing Remarks and Future Outlook

«Once again this year, the sixth edition of PSE24 was a key moment in the training of pediatric residents. The event has become an essential reference point for leading pediatric simulation centers that have joined forces to offer a high-value training experience», commented Dr. De Luca. «PSE is an experiential workshop that has now become a traditional event for all pediatric simulation centers» emphasizes Dr Luca Tortorolo of Gemelli Training Center. «An opportunity to get out of one’s comfort zone and contaminate each other not only horizontally between trainers but also vertically between trainers and learners. A nice breath of stimulation and motivation that has been growing over time». Dr. Teresa Corigliano of the CeSi simulation center also agrees «this is my second time participating in PSE and I find it an extremely enriching sharing experience. It is great to be able to contribute to the education of enthusiastic young physicians while at the same time serving as a facilitator by taking cues from their reflections and those of experienced colleagues».

Feedback from the participants was overwhelmingly positive, with many noting the breadth and depth of the training provided. The diverse simulation and debriefing methodologies were particularly appreciated, as they were seen as invaluable opportunities for professional development and personal growth.

As the event concluded, both the participants and facilitators expressed their enthusiasm and satisfaction with the educational experience. It was not just a learning opportunity but also a moment of professional celebration that participants will remember for years to come. «Motivating, exciting and energizing. This is the perspective of PSE from the facilitators who are privileged to be part of this initiative. The interest, very active participation and motivation of the residents can only be a source of recharging and confirmation for us of how crucial simulation is in training the pediatricians of the future» Prof. Silvia Bressan of SimDream in Padua summarizes her experience at PSE this way.

«Every year the Pediatric Simulation Experience seeks to advance the frontiers of medical education, and this year was no exception. We incorporated the latest advances in simulation technology, thanks in part to the support of Laerdal Italia, Simulkare, SoFraPa, EMAC, Prase and Vygon, to create a dynamic and engaging learning environment. Our goal is to equip pediatric residents not only with technical skills, but also with the confidence and decision-making skills that are critical in high-stress medical situations. Seeing the enthusiasm and involvement of the residents reassures us that we have done a good job» Dr. Marco Binotti told us at the close of the event. 

The dedication and effort of all involved were evident, ensuring that the event was not only a success but also a benchmark for future simulations. For more information and to stay updated on future editions of PSE, please visit SIMNOVA’s event page


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