Objectives To assess the role of simulation to teach ‘palliative care’ skills to the multidisciplinary team (MDT) within general paediatric and neonatal settings.
Methods Five simulation sessions were undertaken. The themes were acute presentation of a patient with a deteriorating life-limiting condition with no advance care plan (ACP) in place and parents not wishing for escalation of treatment; putting wishes expressed in an ACP in place for a dying child; managing an expected death; putting an antenatal ACP into place at delivery; and withdrawal of life-sustaining respiratory support in an extremely preterm neonate. Simulations were attended by the MDT. Participants completed feedback rating enjoyment, organisation, quality and relevance of sessions, and likelihood of attending further paediatric palliative medicine (PPM) simulation sessions, alongside a 10-point confidence scale rating confidence in dealing with ‘palliative care’ scenarios and talking to families about death.
Results Participants reported they enjoyed the sessions (mean score 4.5, range 1–5) and felt they were well organised (4.7/5, range 1–5) and of high quality (4.7/5, range 1–5). They felt sessions were relevant to their training (4.6/5, range 1–5) and that they would attend further simulation training in the area of PPM (mean 4.8/5, range 1–5). Confidence in managing PPM scenarios increased by a mean of 2.3 confidence points (range −1 to 5) and confidence in talking about death increased by a mean of 1.7 confidence points (range 0–5).
Conclusions PPM simulation training was acceptable to participants and effective in increasing confidence with PPM skills. Training in PPM simulation should be a routine part of paediatric and neonatal training across the MDT.
- education and training
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Presented at Part of this work was presented as a poster presentation at RCPCH Conference 2020.
Contributors NT was involved in simulation scenario development, running simulations, collecting and collating feedback, and drafting the manuscript. JG was involved in simulation scenario development, running simulations and drafting the manuscript. VN was involved in simulation scenario development, running simulations and drafting the manuscript.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.