Simulation Training for Clinicians

Baby simulation

No one is too small for great care.

From primary care to specialty care and for everything in between, we are here to provide excellent care for children.

Excellent care begins with an excellent staff — from the surgeons who perform heart transplants, to the patient access specialists who greet patients, to the housekeeping assistants who keep our patients’ rooms clean and sanitary. One of the methods to ensure excellence from our staff is healthcare simulation.

Healthcare simulation is a range of activities used to provide real-world experiences in a manufactured environment, in order to improve safety, efficacy, and efficiency of healthcare services.

During a simulation, learners are trained to provide healthcare for different types of patients under a variety of circumstances — all without using live patients or jeopardizing safety.

Our most recent scenarios include:

  • Housewide nursing reviews
  • Crash cart races
  • Team training
  • Treatment of patient being transported by helicopter
  • Transport of patient during airline fire

Set Up Your Simulation Training

Email [email protected]

Children’s Simulation Resources Provide You with the Best Educational Tools, Techniques & Resources

We invite all Children’s clinicians to take advantage of simulation services to help you provide the best care for your patients.

Our high fidelity simulation program uses a computer-driven, full-bodied simulators with physiological responses programmed to immediately “react” to your interventions. We have simulation tools available for developing many types of skills, including:

  • General routine and emergency infant and neonatal care
  • Advanced pediatric trauma surgery
  • Specialty procedures, such as gastrostomy tube or urethral catheter insertion
  • Medical devices for children with special needs

The Simulation Process

The Children’s Simulation process includes four phases:

Phase I: Empowering

We help empower you to develop and deliver simulations that are best suited for your learners’ needs. This phase involves defining the educational needs, learning objectives, and the tools needed to achieve the objectives.

Phase II: Engaging

By being engaged in creating the simulation, you are in control of what participants to experience and learn. This phase involves programming, reviewing, and editing the simulation, performing a dry run, and completing the set-up.

Phase III: Educating

The Educating Phase has two parts:


This is when we actually run the simulation. In addition to learners and educators, the simulation room typically includes:

  • A mannequin, on which can have procedures like intubation or CPR can be performed
  • A patient monitor telemetry screen that shows the “patient’s” vital signs
  • A simulation educator who uses a laptop to run the mannequin
  • Emergency equipment, such as a code cart
  • Lab and imaging equipment


The second part of Phase III is debriefing. This is the most important component of simulation, and where most of the learning actually takes place.

A facilitator leads a reflective discussion on the simulation. Learners can provide feedback on their performance, each other’s performance, reflect on team dynamics, communications or personal feelings during the simulation, and discuss how to apply the simulation experience in future situations.

Phase IV: Excelling

The final phase is outlining what you and your learners need to build on successes and learn from missteps. This involves getting learners’ evaluation of the simulation and debriefing, your analysis of the experience, and your feedback to improve the experience in the future.

Giving feedback to improve the simulation experience. After each simulation experience, please give us feedback by completing a brief survey.

Feedback Survey

+Zone of Proximal Development

Scenarios are designed according to the Zone of Proximal Development theory. That means we try to make scenarios just difficult enough to keep learners optimally engaged. If the scenario is too easy or too difficult, learners may become disinterested and disengaged, which undermines the educational experience.

Meet Our Team

Kelly D. Kadlec

Kelly D. Kadlec, MD
Simulation Medical Director

  • About Dr. Kadlec

    Pediatric Intensivist
    Children’s Hospital & Medical Center – Omaha

    Associate Professor, Pediatrics,
    University Of Nebraska College of Medicine

    Dr. Kelly Kadlec‘s Experience

Sally Stimson, MSN, RN, CPN
Simulation Coordinator and Educator

  • About Sally

    Sally began her nursing career in 1999 working as a labor, delivery, postpartum and nursery nurse; she enjoyed participating in this aspect of women’s’ health and helping to bring new lives into this world. In this field, Sally then had the opportunity to become a charge nurse and participate in the opening of Lakeside Hospital.

    Then, in 2006, her niece was born with a congenital heart defect and was in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) and Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Children’s Hospital & Medical Center for several months. Sally remembers thinking how amazing it would be to work with such critically ill children. She was fascinated by the intelligence of these nurses and how they handled every crisis that came up with ease and expertise.

    In 2007, Children’s PICU had a job opening and transitioned to her new role as a PICU nurse. In 2011, Sally took on the role of the PICU Clinical Nurse Educator guiding newer nurses through orientation and managing all of the ongoing education and competencies for PICU nurses. At that time, she also began her Master’s in Science with a focus in nursing education.

    As the PICU Nurse Educator, Sally began learning about simulation and working with the Simulation Medical Director to incorporate mock codes into the nursing education curriculum for her staff. After learning to run the simulations independently, other departments began to request Sally to come to assist them in running high-fidelity simulations in their units and departments. As the Children’s simulation program and needs continued to increase, Sally became the Simulation Program Coordinator in 2015. She loves working with all the areas in the hospital and encouraging them to be better prepared for the unexpected.

Sara Tremel

Sara Tremel, CCRN
Simulation Educator

  • About Sara

    Sara began her nursing career in 2001, working as a new graduate in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) at Children’s Hospital & Medical Center. Sara quickly discovered that critical care was her passion, and spent the next 13 years working as a bedside nurse and charge nurse in the PICU. During that time, she developed as a mentor, using her years of clinical experience and knowledge to teach and guide her peers at the bedside. Sara’s love of teaching eventually led her to become part of Nursing Education.

    In 2014, Sara transitioned into her new role in Nursing Education as a Clinical Research Nurse and PALS Coordinator for Children’s. In July of 2016, she added a new role as a Simulation Educator 12 hours a week and continued with her other job duties as PALS Coordinator. This evolved into her becoming the Resuscitation Program Coordinator in 2018, where in addition to being a Simulation Educator and PALS Coordinator, she also coordinates the organization’s quality monitoring for medical alerts and debriefings as well as implements performance improvement projects related to patient/visitor emergency response.

    Sara uses her critical care background and passion to save lives to teach others the fundamentals of life-saving skills and make system improvements with a focus on patient safety. She enjoys the variety of her dual roles—always with the focus of educating others and helping them to gain confidence and knowledge to feel more comfortable in emergency situations.

Mindy Leonard

Mindy Leonard, RN
Simulation Educator

  • About Mindy

    Mindy comes to us with 17 years of pediatric experience that includes beside peds nursing in Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU), Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU), med surg, hematology/oncology and a clinical instructor at South Dakota State University. She also enjoyed her pediatric travel nurse experience for 3 years. After traveling, she took on the role of Educator in a hematology/oncology/endocrinology floor at Dell Children’s Hospital in Austin.

    Mindy began her career at Children’s 4 years ago in the NICU and transitioned to the ICU Flex Team 2 and a half years ago. She is also currently the Flex Team info tech representative.

    Here’s what she says about why she wanted the role of the simulation educator:

    “I have a passion for education and helping people learn. It was one of the primary reasons I love Flex and did travel nursing; I love seeing how other people solve problems and improve processes! Simulation is such a unique opportunity and experience to be a part of. It engages the learner in a fun, safe environment; which in turn brings us closer to providing the best care we can for children. It challenges the educator to think outside the box, and be quick on their feet to changing and challenging situations. This is a challenge and opportunity I look forward to taking on.”


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