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Simulation Training

The IU School of Medicine pediatric critical care fellowship program at Riley Hospital for Children (Indianapolis) is actively involved in simulation-based education and research projects. This simulation program is designed to enhance patient safety, and it promotes excellent clinical care and hands-on training through rich experiential learning that empowers a multidisciplinary team approach to care delivery.

The pediatric critical care fellowship has a dedicated simulation curriculum for pediatric critical care fellows that includes bi-annual boot camps, periodic in-situ simulation, mock codes and outreach simulation activities.

The simulation program provides a flexible and rich learning environment for all health providers and trainees to practice key clinical skills, develop high-quality teamwork and improve communication skills in a psychologically safe environment. The program provides health care professionals across disciplines with high-fidelity pediatric clinical experiences embedded within real clinical settings and environments.

Active Programs

The pediatric critical care simulators have developed and implemented simulations projects that focus on pediatric resuscitation quality, pediatric emergency outreach and emergency readiness, and in situ mastery learning. Learners span a broad range of clinical specialties and regularly work with pediatric, medicine-pediatric and emergency medicine residents; pediatric critical care and pediatric emergency medicine fellows; nurses and APRNs; surgical teams, ECMO and other clinicians.

Simulation activities extend across all Indiana University School of Medicine-affiliated sites and departments as well as community emergency departments and nationwide simulation programs and institutions.

  • PICU Fellow Bootcamp
    Biannual simulation days dedicated to procedural skills and core pediatric critical care topics.
  • PICU Fellow Simulation Curriculum
    Introduced in 2018, this monthly longitudinal simulation curriculum utilizes increasing complexity and inter-professional teamwork between physicians and nurses.
    This active pediatric outreach simulation program is available to emergency departments across Indiana. This program has been nationally recognized and is active in multi-center studies.
  • Rapid Cycle Deliberate Practice Resuscitation Training
    This novel method of training residents and fellows pediatric resuscitation skills emphasizes deliberate practice and mastery learning.
  • ECMO Simulation
    A simulation program that includes surgery, ECMO and bedside nursing as well as critical care fellows at IU School of Medicine. The program emphasizes troubleshooting and teamwork in critical patient care encounters.
  • Pediatric Pharmacy Resuscitation Simulation
    This simulation utilizes a collaboration between clinical and staff pharmacists with the critical care division.
  • Annual Resident SimOlympics
    Several current staff and fellows participate as trainers and debriefers in this day-long simulation curriculum for the pediatric residents. These Olympics provide a valuable opportunity for fellows to improve their ability to lead simulation sessions.

Grant Funding

  • I-PREP: Indiana Pediatric Readiness Emergency Program. IU Health Values Education Grant
  • Get ED Ready: A Pediatric Outreach Mobile Program to Improve Emergency Readiness and Quality of Care. Riley Children’s Foundation Grant
  • Implementation of a Pediatric Community Outreach Mobile Education (PCOME) Program. Indiana University Health Values Grant
  • Improving the Management of the Pediatric Critical Airway. Indiana University Health Values Grant



Simulation program team members have published the following papers.


  • Emergency Medical Services for Children EMSC
    The EMSC program is a US federal government health initiative. It is administered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), and the Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB). The aim of the program is to reduce child and youth disability and death due to severe illness of injury by increasing awareness among health professionals, providers and planners and the general public of the special (physiological and psychological) needs of children receiving emergency medical care.
  • Improving Pediatric Acute Care through Simulation ImPACTS
    ImPACTS helps to ensure that ill and injured children receive the highest quality of emergency care whenever and wherever it is needed. ImPACTS is a multi-centered, simulation-based education and QI program with an overarching goal to enhance preparedness of all hospitals’ emergency departments and provide high-quality pediatric emergency training to all health care practitioners caring for ill and injured children. Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University of Health is one of the leading sites of the ImPACTS collaborative and the lead site for the most recent 2018 ImPACTS protocol that focuses on improving the pediatric emergency readiness of general EDs and the structure/process of care provided to ill children in these EDs.

Team Members

Kamal Abulebda, MD

Associate Professor of Clinical Pediatrics

Riad Lutfi, MD

Associate Professor of Clinical Pediatrics

Samer Abu-Sultaneh, MD

Associate Professor of Clinical Pediatrics

Nathan D. Swinger, MD

Assistant Professor of Clinical Pediatrics

Matthew L. Yuknis, MD

Assistant Professor of Clinical Pediatrics