Texas Children's Hospital Provides Simulation Training to Houston Fire Department
February 29, 2012 -- The Simulation Center at Texas Children's Hospital has begun providing Pediatric Simulation Training for Emergency Pre-hospital Providers (Pedi-STEPPs) to members of the Houston Fire Department (HFD) EMS. A grant from the Cullen Trust for Healthcare, as well as a community benefit donation from Texas Children's Hospital will allow this innovative training to be offered free of charge to the City for 500 firefighters over the next two years. The training course is part of a comprehensive, yearly curriculum incorporating didactics, multimedia, technical skills training and communication/team skills training through participation in high-fidelity simulation scenarios. Each high fidelity simulation will be followed by a facilitated video-reviewed debriefing session where participants will reflect on and learn from their performance. The result of this combination is a truly blended learning curriculum that is consistent with adult learning theory. Texas Children's Hospital in conjunction with Baylor College of Medicine (BCM) and the HFD have been working together for more than 20 years to help better the health of our community and our region's children.
"In addition to training hospital staff, it has always been a larger goal of ours to reach further into the community by working with first responders – after all, a community of healthy children is part of the Texas Children's vision," said Dr. Jennifer Arnold, medical director of the Simulation Center and assistant professor of pediatrics at BCM. "By providing this type of training to the Houston Fire Department, we're making sure pediatric patients and their families receive the best possible care, from the moment help arrives."
Each eight-hour course provides hands-on skills and scenario-based training. HFD EMS providers will go through simulated scenarios that are rare and high risk offering the ability to practice life saving skills for neonatal and pediatric patients. By offering the opportunity to work through complicated procedures without the concerns or risks associated with learning on real patients, this course will enhance the care that the HFD personnel provide to the public.
"This partnership is a shining example of how we can creatively work together as a city to make our community safer," said Mayor Annise Parker. "The training provided by Texas Children's Hospital for the Houston Fire Department will ensure that our children are given the best possible care including the latest communication and clinical techniques, even before they arrive to the hospital."
The first year's learning objectives will focus on respiratory distress in a pediatric patient, management of a newborn born out of the hospital in distress, management of pediatric trauma and cardiopulmonary arrest in infants and children. Future curricular goals could include obstetrical emergencies, pediatric shock and emergencies for technology-dependent pediatric patients. HFD physician directors will work with Texas Children's Simulation Center experts in developing the curriculum.
"We are excited to be a part of the Simulation Center program at Texas Children's Hospital," said Dr. David Persse, physician director of EMS and professor of surgery at BCM. "This access to world-renown training will give us access and hone our skills to tackle high-risk and complicated pediatric emergency situations in the field. We hope this will be a model that other cities can adopt."
The Texas Children's Simulation Center opened in 2009 as the only center of its kind in Texas, and one of the largest among the pediatric simulation centers in the United States. 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.