Visiting Faculty & Scholar Profiles

Korean Neonatologist Appointed as Visiting Associate Professor for One Year at CAPE

Profile by Dr. Sun Jin Cho

I am thrilled to say that now I can SEE simulation differently after spending my sabbatical at CAPE as a Visiting Associate Professor for a year. It all began in Denver in 2011 at a PAS-SPR meeting, when my mentor Dr. Michael J Accaregui introduced me to Dr. Lou Halamek. I had been searching for a place to learn for my upcoming sabbatical. At the time, a new edition of NRP was launched and the biggest change in NRP was the incorporation of simulation and debriefing into the training program. Even after watching the introductory DVD and reading the textbook, I realized that it was not as simple and straight forward as I thought it would be.

After navigating the CAPE website, I was surprised to find that simulation-based education was being applied to everything from counseling to ECMO. Before coming to CAPE, simulation-based learning was a teaching methodology for pre-licensure trainees to practice technical skills before trying it out on a real patient. Thus it was confusing why simulation was incorporated into the new edition of NRP. NRP was a program for healthcare providers who are already in practice and should know what to do. The more I read into it, the more intriguing and extensive simulation was. Simulation was a learning modality and the focus was to find the weak points for improvement and not just to check off that the trainee was present for the course.

Comparing healthcare to athletics in terms of team work was a straightforward analogy to emphasize what we are missing in healthcare.  Patient care is provided by a team; effective communication and work load delegation are only a few prerequisites for the best care. Yet these skills are not learned or even mentioned in daily practice. The need for training together as a team and the metrics to quantify the improvement of the ten behavioral skills taught by CAPE was enlightening. Training multi-disciplinary teams to manage maternal neonatal arrest according to a timed protocol was awe inspiring.

Su Jin Cho, MD      (pictured second from right)

Associate Vice Dean, Office of Institutional Planning and Associate Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Ewha Womans University School of Medicine; Director, International Healthcare Center, Ewha Womans University Mok Dong Hospital

Debriefing was the most challenging part to learn. It looked natural and easy when CAPE's Simulation Specialists Kim or Julie debriefed. However, once in the hot seat, it was not easy as you cannot predict the flow of discussion and must avoid lecturing. Whenever I face a difficult subject, I try to read all I can about the subject and try to analyze it in my own framework. Debriefing was handled in the same way. I was privileged to write a paper describing the status quo of debriefing in healthcare with Dr. Lou Halamek and am looking forward to seeing it published soon. I am still learning about debriefing and I will have to overcome the cultural taboo on “speaking up” when I apply this in Korea. Nevertheless, I feel more comfortable being in the hot seat and don’t try to control but facilitate what is going on with the learners. The debriefing skills even helped me in real life situations as well, especially when talking with my children. 

Sabbatical is a blessed time to get away with your family for a year and to pursue your dream for professional development, free from regular clinical and teaching duties that sometimes tie you down. I was blessed to find a home away from home at CAPE, supported by loving friends whom I cannot thank enough. After a fruitful and enlightening time at CAPE, I can testify that simulation-based learning is about facilitating the learners to identify their weaknesses and strengths for improvement. Working to find your weakness is a somewhat uncomfortable situation as you end up seeing yourself make mistakes on video with your colleagues.

However, if patient safety comes before one's emotional well-being, the whole focus and paradigm of simulation shifts. “To err is human” but to emphasize learning from those mistakes through constructive debriefing is what makes us better.

Simulation is definitely not about fancy high-tech mannequins, not about state-of-the-art facilities but about the dedicated people who share the vision and always challenge themselves to make better programs tailored to the needs of the learners. I am honored to state that I am proud and pleased to be part of the CAPE team and I will continue to spread the word that simulation is about Safety * Effectiveness * Efficiency.

Australian Neonatologist Appointed as Visiting Instructor at CAPE

Profile by Dr. Kathy Martin

I am a neonatologist in Perth, Western Australia, working for the Neonatology Clinical Care Unit (NCCU). This is made up of two neonatal intensive care units, one at King Edward Memorial Hospital for Women (KEMH) and the other at Princess Margaret Hospital for Children (PMH) along with the neonatal emergency transport service(NETS) for Western Australia. KEMH & PMH provide the only facilities and expertise for tertiary level neonatal intensive care in Western Australia. KEMH NICU runs 100 neonatal beds and PMH NICU 25 neonatal beds. There is an active training program within the unit from residents to fellows. From 2013 a Masters in Neonatology will commence with the Centre for Neonatal Research and Education, University of Western Australia.

Teaching has always been an interest and passion of mine. In May 2013, I visited CAPE to undertake the Simulation Instructor Program. It is no exaggeration to say that it was worth the fee and the air ticket. Why? The course had clearly defined aims. It covered educational aspects and taught (and I learned!) practical skills. I learned to design discipline appropriate scenarios; operate cameras and software for a manikin amongst others. Most importantly for me, the CAPE team provided expert guidance in debriefing, greatly improving my skills in this important area.  The team (multidisciplinary) running CAPE and delivering the Instructor Program were extremely helpful and gave of their skills and time graciously.

Did I benefit? The answer is “YES”, so much so that to consolidate our own program in neonatal emergency care simulation, I returned to CAPE in May 2013 to further enhance my skills.  Some of my colleagues (both nursing and medical) have subsequently attended CAPE and have found the experience beneficial, stimulating and enjoyable.

Kathy Martin, MD       

Neonatologist, King Edward Memorial Hospital