Norton Children’s Simulation for Pediatric Assessment, Resuscitation and Communication (SPARC) Program

The Norton Children’s Simulation for Pediatric Assessment, Resuscitation and Communication (SPARC) Program educates pediatric clinicians in crisis teamwork skills, procedural skills, pediatric physiology and the delivery of difficult news to patients and families. Physicians, nurses, respiratory therapists and pharmacists participate in these sessions.

Sessions are conducted in multiple locations around the hospital, including the emergency department, operating room and recovery unit, “Just for Kids” Critical Care Center and all pediatric floors. A typical session starts with an introduction to the skills that will be needed for that particular situation. Critical events are simulated using one of two high-fidelity patient simulators. After each simulation, participants are debriefed by program faculty and given time to observe their performance via video recording. During this time they reflect on their actions and discuss development strategies to address any issues.

Family interactions are portrayed using standardized patients as part of the communication skills arm of SPARC, known as the Program for the Approach to Complex Encounters (PACE). Here, clinicians learn important techniques for dealing with the delivery of difficult news to patients and their families. Video-assisted debriefings allow participants to deconstruct and reflect on their experiences. This helps them understand ways to approach such conversations more effectively.

Other SPARC activities include procedural training for pediatric residents and nurses, and educational outreach to local and regional emergency departments. The SPARC Program participates in the INSPIRE Pediatric Simulation Research Collaborative.

Those interested in learning more about the program can contact Amy L. Hanson, M.D., at (847) 917-0787 or at  amy.hanson@louisville.edu.

The simulation program is funded by the Norton Children’s Hospital Foundation and has received grants from the University of Louisville School of Medicine Department of Pediatrics, WHAS Crusade for Children and the Kentucky Hospital Association.

SPARC Simulation Program Goals 

  1. Train health care professionals in the management of a broad variety of medical conditions in pediatric patients, including high-risk and/or acuity conditions
  2. Rehearse effective teamwork principles and communication during medical events and/or procedures
  3. Optimize the health care system by identifying and correcting safety threats and improving the efficiency and quality of care
  4. Generate new knowledge and scholarship

 

SPARC Simulation Program Leadership

Senior Advisors

Aaron W. Calhoun, M.D.

Megan C. Herndon, R.N.

Adjunct Advisor

Vicki L. Montgomery, M.D.

Director

Amy L. Hanson, M.D.

Nursing Director

Erin R. Kirk, R.N.

Simulation Operations

Assistant Director of Simulation Operations

Megan B. Laniewicz, M.D.

Nursing Lead

Susan M. Webb, APRN

Simulation Quality

Assistant Director of Simulation Quality

Mary K. Sandquist, M.D.

Nursing Lead

Rebekah Mulloy, R.N.

SPARC Unit-based Simulation Teams

Cardiac Intensive Care Unit Simulation Team

Physician Simulation Facilitator

Mary K. Sandquist, M.D.*

Nurse Simulation Facilitators

Lauren Curry, APRN

Dawn Williamson, R.N.

Communication Simulation Team (Focus on Relational Crisis Education)

  • Physician Simulation Facilitators

Kelly A. Lyons, D.O.

Eleanor B. Peterson, M.D.*

ECMO Simulation Team

Physician Simulation Facilitator

Jamie M. Furlong-Dillard, D.O.*

ECMO Specialist Simulation Facilitators

Jacquelyn Finks, RRT

John W. Hardin, RRT

Amy L. Johnson, R.N.

Bradley Oelkers, RRT

Teka Siebenaler, RRT*

Dawn K. Williamson, R.N.

Emergency Department Simulation Team

Physician Simulation Facilitators

Amy L. Hanson, M.D.

Tara M. Kopp, M.D.*

Megan B. Laniewicz, M.D.

Nurse Simulation Facilitators

Cara A. Lowery, R.N.

Jill Masden, R.N.

EMS Simulation Team

Physician Simulation Facilitator

Beth A. Spurlin, M.D., Ph.D., MBA

Nurse Simulation Facilitator

Jaclyn Gerard, R.N.

Hematology/Oncology Simulation Team

Physician Simulation Facilitator

Recruiting

Nurse Simulation Facilitators

Taylor C. Bergman, R.N.

Heather N. Hartlage, R.N.

Inpatient Unit Simulation Team

Physician Simulation Facilitator

Recruiting

Nurse Simulation Facilitators

Barbara J. Furey, R.N.

Milly Green, R.N.

Rebekah Mulloy, R.N.

Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Simulation Team

Physician Simulation Facilitators

Shannon K. Evans, M.D.

Keri A. Marques, M.D.*

Nurse Simulation Facilitator

Leanna G. Magner, R.N.

Outreach Simulation Team

Physician Simulation Facilitator

Karen L. Orman, M.D.*

“Just for Kids” Transport Team Simulation Facilitators

Donna M. Callahan, R.N.

Pennie L. Crady, R.N.*

Pediatric Intensive Care Unit Simulation Team

Physician Simulation Facilitators

Aaron W. Calhoun, M.D.*

Mary K. Sandquist, M.D.

Nurse Simulation Facilitators

Morgan Fryman, R.N.

Ashley N. Johnson, R.N.

Susan M. Webb, APRN

Procedural Training Simulation Team

Physician Simulation Facilitators

Tara M. Kopp, M.D.*

Kelly A. Lyons, D.O.

Keri A. Marques, M.D.

Nurse Simulation Facilitator

Nursing support consistent with content expertise 

Surgical Services/Anesthesia Simulation Team

Physician Simulation Facilitator

Recruiting for physician and/or CRNA lead

Nurse Simulation Facilitators

Kaley Davidson, R.N.

Caroline Stilz, R.N.

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