Frequently asked questions

Here are answers to the questions we get asked most often about simulation and the simulation services provided by Children’s Minnesota.

What is simulation training?

Simulation-based training uses high-tech, or computerized, mannequins operated by simulation specialists to create simulated pediatric or neonatal emergencies. These realistic situations, called scenarios, reproduce a clinical environment that provides some of the same physical challenges and mental stressors one would have in the real environment. It is important for health care teams to be able to function in these chaotic environments, to understand each other’s roles, and to learn how to communicate in crisis situations without risk to a real patient.

What is debriefing?

Debriefing is a time to explore the team’s response to the emergency immediately after the simulation scenario ends. The simulation scenario experience is often an intense, life-like experience. Thoughtful reflection and discussion afterward helps participants self-reflect and sort out what happened and why. Participants view selected scenes from the recorded simulation scenario that highlight key educational points. Instructors, trained in techniques of debriefing, act as facilitators, as colleagues identify what went well and where improvements might be made.

How is simulation different from traditional training?

The traditional professional training model includes the “read-observe-apprenticeship” model. Pediatric and neonatal emergency situations don’t happen often enough for health care providers and students to actively participate and gain experience in these critical events. Simulation training provides the opportunity to repeatedly practice high-risk events that occur infrequently.

Simulation training is hands-on experiential training without risk to a patient. The training environment can be manipulated to reach core objectives around cognitive (knowledge) skills, psychomotor (procedural) skills and behavioral (team/communication) skills. The instructors act only as facilitators helping the team members to learn from each other.

What are the benefits of simulation training?

At the conclusion of a simulation course, our goals are that staff will:

  • Feel more confident
  • Have a greater skill mastery
  • Have been “pushed” beyond their comfort zone — stretched beyond what is currently familiar
  • Have a greater understanding of the power and necessity of functioning as a team
  • Have strategies to apply what has been learned to their own clinical practice

How is a simulation course structured?

Each simulation session lasts approximately one hour. There is a brief introduction, depending on the experience of the participants. The actual simulation scenario takes place in the first 20 minutes. The balance of the hour is spent debriefing the team’s response to the emergency. Typically, three simulation sessions are conducted in a half-day course and as many as six simulation sessions are conducted in a full-day course.

Who is on a typical team?

A complete team could include RNs, MDs, APRNs, pharmacists, respiratory care practitioners, EMTs, or any other combination of positions that your organization would typically deploy in an emergency.

How many people participate in each simulation?

Between 4-8 team members participate in each three-hour simulation session. There can be two sessions per day with 4-8 people in each session. Depending on the selected scenarios, team members may participants or observers. After the simulation scenario is complete, the entire team then debriefs the scenario together.

What do I do in a typical course?

Each simulation course begins with a welcome and introduction. During this time you will be introduced to simulation and the use of digital recording in debriefing. The importance of confidentiality, both around the scenarios presented, as well as the performance of those in the simulator will be reviewed at this time. Consents for recording will be completed.

The second portion of the course will focus on the orientation to the environment in which you will practice. Time will be provided to familiarize yourself with the physical components (patients, devices, medications, etc.) of the simulator.

The rest of the course will be spent actively participating in scenarios designed to simulate emergency situations that you would come upon in your practice. Come prepared to “play like it is real”. You will perform in a role as you would in a real-life emergency situation. The session is recorded and will be used to debrief around the team’s performance.

At the conclusion of the course, you will be asked to complete an evaluation.

Why is confidentiality in the simulator so important?

Because participants will often be stretched beyond what is familiar to them, mistakes are expected. It is important that team members feel safe in the simulated environment so they can fully participate. Discussions about individual or team performance cannot occur outside of their Simulation Center experience. Discussions outside of the Simulation Center must be confined to describing personal experiences with the Simulation Center in general. In addition, it is important to keep the clinical details of each scenario confidential so future teams can gain the same experience from the same scenario.

How can I get ready for a typical course?

  • Get a lot of rest the night before the course — it is a long day and can be somewhat stressful.
  • Be up to date on your organization’s policies and procedures around responding to emergencies.
  • Review BLS/PALS/NRP guidelines and response algorithms as they apply to your specialty practice.
  • Relax. This is the time to make mistakes, and ask a lot of questions — it is a risk-free environment.

What should I wear to the simulation course?

Wear what you would typically wear in the course of your clinical work day — scrubs, uniform, etc. Bring a stethoscope or other cognitive aids you might bring to work with you.

What is the cost and how are fees set?

Program fees are based on full-day training programs. The cost is $3,400 per day, which includes two half-days of training (on the same day) for two groups of up with eight people in each group.

Due to the high cost of fuel, we also charge $2 per mile, up to 500 miles, to help cover costs. There is no charge for more than 500 miles.

How do I enroll a team in the program?

Contact the Simulation Center via phone or email. Our phone number is 612-813-6988 and our email is [email protected].

Can I enroll individually?

Not at this time. Please contact us if you would like to see simulation training provided for your professional group or staff. Our phone number is 612-813-6988 and our email is [email protected].

Is CME/CEU available?

Continuing education credits are available for most courses. Certificates will be provided upon completion of training.

What kind of electrical and parking accommodations does your organization need to provide for the mobile simulation center?

  • 50 amp service is preferred (we can discuss plans with your facilities department)
  • 70 linear feet of level parking space
  • Safe access to the bus for participants