Cook Children’s received first in the world accreditation

Photo by Jeremy Enlow

Cook Children’s is now the first freestanding children’s hospital in the world to receive full accreditation through the Society for Simulation in Healthcare (SSH), which aims to enhance the quality of health care through simulation education.

Since 2009, Cook Children’s has been working to bridge the gap between education and real-life clinical experience with its in-house simulation program. Of the 179 accredited simulation programs in various countries, Cook Children’s is the first pediatric program to obtain this recognition in all five areas evaluated by SSH, which include core standards, assessment, teaching/education, systems integration, and research, the hospital said in a news release.

“Any type of medical situation can be created in our sim lab, ranging from basic clinical skills to critical care situations like transporting a patient on extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO),” said Becky Southworth, MBA, BSN, RN, director of the Simulation Program at Cook Children’s.
“We can even intubate these simulators and put them on a ventilator. This has been especially helpful with COVID-19 because we can place a plexiglass guard around the simulator and allow staff to practice an intubation using the protective covering, which is what we are actually doing in real-life situations,” Southworth said.

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In fiscal year 2019, Cook Children’s Simulation Program logged more than 11,000 visits and 26,000 hours of training.
The program, which began with a single simulator, has grown vastly over the past 11 years and now encompasses 17 simulators, ranging from a 600 gram premature baby to a 150 pound teenager. The simulators can talk, cry, have seizures, turn blue, wiggle, blink and breathe.
“Simulation offers possibilities to learn that extend beyond the traditional lecture and classroom,” said Southworth. “The Simulation Program at Cook Children’s is quite incredible. It’s one of the best hospital-based sim labs in the nation.”

The hospital said that in addition to training Cook Children’s staff members, the Simulation Program also helps parents of children with tracheostomies prepare for the transition from hospital to home.
Since 2015, dozens of families have participated in a program that allows caretakers to practice how to change, clean and care for a tracheostomy. In an article published by the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses in 2018, 90% of families who participated in the program reported feeling more confident in transitioning to home care with their child.

“To be the preeminent model for delivering pediatric health care, we must prepare our staff to confidently recognize and intervene using evidence-based practices,” said Deborah Rubinson, DPN, RN, Assistant Vice President, Organizational and Professional Development. “Becoming accredited in all five standards held by the Society for Simulation in Healthcare is a testament to Cook Children’s core belief that practice and education are essential to achieve zero harm.”
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Cook Children’s Health Care SystemWhen things get complicated, turn to Cook Children’s. Whether it’s parenting issues or treating complex pediatric conditions, we’re here, helping families navigate childhood every step of the

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