Summary Simulation-based training, research and quality initiatives are expanding in pediatric anesthesiology just as in other medical specialties. Various modalities are available, from task trainers to standardized patients, and from computer-based simulations to mannequins. Computer-controlled mannequins can simulate pediatric vital signs with reasonable reliability; however the fidelity of skin temperature and color change, airway reflexes and breath and heart sounds remains rudimentary. Current pediatric mannequins are utilized in simulation centers, throughout hospitals in-situ, at national meetings for continuing medical education and in research into individual and team performance. Ongoing efforts by pediatric anesthesiologists dedicated to using simulation to improve patient care and educational delivery will result in further dissemination of this technology. Health care professionals who provide complex, subspecialty care to children require a curriculum supported by an active learning environment where skills directly relevant to pediatric care can be developed. The approach is not only the most effective method to educate adult learners, but meets calls for education reform and offers the potential to guide efforts toward evaluating competence. Simulation addresses patient safety imperatives by providing a method for trainees to develop skills and experience in various management strategies, without risk to the health and life of a child. A curriculum that provides pediatric anesthesiologists with the range of skills required in clinical practice settings must include a relatively broad range of task-training devises and electromechanical mannequins. Challenges remain in defining the best integration of this modality into training and clinical practice to meet the needs of pediatric patients.
- quality improvement