The Division of Pediatric Emergency Medicine (PEM) at IWK Health runs a vibrant interprofessional simulation program that ensures team members work seamlessly together when real emergencies come through the door.

Everyone participates in regular simulations, from the leaders to the learners, in all disciplines, including medicine, nursing, pharmacy, and respiratory therapy. Emergency medicine physicians and residents, pediatric residents, pediatric emergency medicine fellows and undergraduate medical students all take part.

“We support a growth mindset, and we support each other to work and learn as a team,” says Dr. Vered Gazit, emergency physician and coordinator of the simulation program in the IWK ED. 

The frequency of the simulation sessions is a major attraction for residents and fellows, who relish the many ongoing opportunities to practice their situational awareness, workflow management skills and technical and procedural abilities. 

“We are creating a strong community of academic and social support for our learners,” notes Dr. Emma Burns, program director of the PEM fellowship. “The simulation program is an integral part of this.”

The simulation program also enhances patient safety and leads the way to continuous quality improvement, especially since most simulations are conducted “in situ,” in the real clinical areas where the case-specific care would be delivered. This means any practical issues that arise can be addressed immediately to ensure top-quality care going forward.