[About Us]

KidSIM is the pediatric patient simulation program that has been run out of the Alberta Children’s Hospital (ACH) since October of 2005.  The Program was conceived by leadership in both the Division of Emergency Medicine and Department of Pediatrics, and launched through financial support from the Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation (ACHF).  This included the recruitment of Dr. Vincent Grant, who assumed the role of Medical Director for the simulation program from its inception and who continues in that role today.  The Department of Pediatrics also provided support for the role of simulation program coordinator, which has been performed by Traci Robinson since 2006. 

Through on-going support from the Department of Pediatrics and the ACHF, the program boasts greater than 80 trained simulation education facilitators, 12 high-fidelity mannequins spanning infancy to adolescence, and a 3,600 square foot simulation centre on the 4th floor of the ACH.  The KidSIM Program has been involved in the delivery of high quality interprofessional pediatric simulation education to over 4,000 learners per year, from undergraduate learners to practicing health care professionals, both at the Alberta Children’s Hospital site, as well as via outreach education to providers in the broader Calgary community, and regional and rural healthcare providers in Southern Alberta and Southeastern British Columbia. 

The KidSIM program works to provide learners surrogate clinical experience with pediatric patients in as close to a ‘real-life’ situation as possible through the use of high-fidelity mannequins as well as teaching space that mimics the clinical setting as closely as possible.  In doing so, it is hoped that the learners experience the pressure and stressors of the real situation, as they work as individuals and in teams, in order to learn more about the assessment and management of these cases.  This realism is further enhanced by moulage of the patients, providing the real results of tests and adding personnel to the case to act in various roles (parent, consultant, etc).  Evaluation of the scenarios and of the program as a whole are overwhelmingly positive, with a common theme being the request for more and more sessions.  In the first 6 years of the program, there has been incredible growth in the number and diversity of learners, as well as growth in the number of areas incorporating simulation into their overall education plan.

The KidSIM Program has become known for several innovative programs, including: 1) an interprofessional training program for undergraduate students from the faculties of medicine, nursing and respiratory therapy, for whom this opportunity is the first they have had in their clinical training to work and learn alongside other health professionals; 2) a simulation program aimed at providing families hands-on education and feedback about how to look after their children with significant medical needs; 3) the newly developed KidSIM-ASPIRE Research Program (Assessing Simulation in Pediatrics: Improving Resuscitation Education) aimed at performing high quality research in the areas of debriefing and feedback, interprofessional education and team training, simulation in the context of family-centred care, faculty development and maintenance of facilitation competence, and evaluation of new and novel technologies in both the simulated and real clinical environments.