The Pediatric Critical Care Medicine Fellowship Program recently hosted a three-day intensive communications course called PC3, which was attended by our second-year fellows, along with four fellows from other pediatric critical care fellowship programs. The course is a collaboration between PCCM and Palliative Care, and uses “actor” parents to prepare participants to have difficult conversations with families.
This was the fifth time the course was held, and the first instance that fellows from outside institutions were invited to attend. Four second- and third-year fellows from Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Ohio State University College of Medicine, participated as learners, along with our second-year PCCM fellows. Attendings from Children’s National Health System, Washington, DC, and Nationwide Children’s Hospital joined as facilitators. Local facilitators included PCCM faculty Melinda Hamilton and Ann Thompson, and Palliative Care faculty Bob Arnold, Rene Claxton, Anoo Tamber, and Rebecca Sands.
The course was well received by PCCM fellows, visiting learners, and facilitators. “The actors were fantastic and having the opportunity to receive in-the-moment feedback as well as to rephrase sentences was invaluable,” said Marlina Lovett, second-year Fellow from Nationwide Children’s Hospital. “The faculty skillfully created a psychologically safe learning environment that allowed the trainee to become vulnerable and immerse themselves in the simulated experience,” added Tensing Maa, MD, FAAP, Medical Director of the Insitu Simulation Program at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. “Additionally, the standardized patients’ performances were so consistent, accurate, and reliable.” The success of the expanded course has set in motion plans to expand the course regionally as an initiative to enhance PCCM fellow communications skills.