The sedation program at the University Hospital Leuven, in Belgium, has recently been upgraded in a sense that we now focus even more on the anxiety and fear of the child during procedure. With that in mind, I had the opportunity the attend the conference of the Society of Pediatric Sedation in Denver in 2019. I attended the sedation provider course that preceded the conference.
I was quite nervous to be honest, because I am a nurse, from another country, and with little experience in sedation. I had never participated in simulations and everything was new for me. I was happy with the pre-course online e-learning because it provided me some backup and structure in the art of sedation. The cases and the systematic way of thinking was helpful.
After a fairly long travel from Belgium to Denver, the day of the sedation provider course came and my sedation-journey began. We were brought to the simulation center at the University of Colorado where we were introduced to each other and the team of sedation-experts who would lead the course. The thing I remembered the most of that first half hour is the emphasis on this as a learning experience and a safe environment. We were there to learn from each other and grow in the learning process. I felt calm and safe, even for an unexperienced sedation nurse from Europe. Everybody was so kind!
We were a very diverse group: nurses, physicians, dentists and other healthcare workers. At the start of the sessions were divided in groups of three or four, with whom you would work during the six simulation cases. The experts made sure that the groups were mixed, and I had the pleasure of working with an ED physician and a dentist, both with quite a lot of experience with sedation and with the simulation aspect of the course.
Before starting with the simulations, we all had an introduction of the protocols used for this kind of exercise: the mannequins were controlled by the experts, materials we could use for the simulation, the steps used for debriefing, and the way to proceed between the simulations. It seemed a lot at first but I got the hang of it really fast and it was perfectly clear what we could do and what to expect after every step.
After every simulation there is a debriefing and feedback session done with our group and the experts that guided us during the exercise. Listening, communicating and reflecting on every step of the simulation helped us to get more insight about the sedation and the case. We took the recommendations, pointers and tips on to the next simulation. Putting the feedback into practice during the next session resulted was a consistent positive learning curve and we also evolved and got better as a team. It was a very intensive but rewarding day. I absolutely would recommend it to anyone who has an interest in pediatric sedation.