skip to Main Content

From the PICU – Empowering Excellence

Danny Loeb, MD, MEd; Kelly Elly, RN; Kelly Collins, RN; Matthew Zackoff MD, MEd


Empowering Excellence: Specialized Training for New Critical Care Fellows

The summer is an exciting time for the Kindervelt Pediatric ICU at Cincinnati Children’s, where we just welcomed a new class of five critical care fellows to join us in caring for our sickest patients. This year’s fellows come from Washington University in St. Louis, Nationwide Children’s, Seattle Children’s, and Cincinnati Children’s pediatric residency programs. In this edition, we will shine a spotlight on the focused training interventions that form the cornerstone of new fellow development as they embark on their transition from general pediatricians to pediatric intensivists.

Resuscitation Bootcamp: Crafting Confidence in Crisis

Our critical care fellows started their training in July with a comprehensive Resuscitation Bootcamp. This intensive hands-on program plunges our fellows into realistic, high-pressure scenarios that mirror critical moments in the PICU. Through high fidelity simulations, our fellows navigate complex resuscitation challenges, building their skills and confidence in managing emergencies.

The bootcamp is designed to enhance their ability to think swiftly and act decisively. By offering a safe space to learn from mistakes, our fellows become adept at making split-second decisions while maintaining composure and clear communication – skills that are indispensable in our line of work.

Harmonizing with the Emergency Department: A Synergistic Partnership

Seamless teamwork is paramount for ideal care. Consequently, we emphasize a partnership with the Emergency Department (ED), which begins as soon as our new fellows arrive. In July, our new fellows collaborated closely with the ED fellows in simulation exercises that mirror real-life transitions of care and co-management. This bridge-building approach ensures that the handoff process between the ED and the PICU is seamless, maximizing patient safety and continuity of care.

Through this shared training experience, our fellows gain insights into the ED’s perspective and priorities, while fostering open lines of communication that facilitate efficiency and safety that grow throughout their subsequent years of training. By recognizing the strengths of each team, we elevate our collective ability to provide exceptional care during the most critical moments.

Navigating Complex Decisions: Collaborating with Experience

In the PICU, collaboration and mentorship are pillars of success. Our new fellows engage in a unique training approach by participating in clinical co-management with senior fellows (who are in their second or third year of training). This near-peer collaboration provides an opportunity for sharing senior expertise with fresh perspectives, creating a dynamic learning environment that enriches both ends of the experience spectrum.

Our new fellows also work closely with more seasoned critical care attending physicians, who help our new fellows develop keen clinical judgment, refine their diagnostic skills, and master the art of balancing medical complexity with clinical acuity. Additionally, our new fellows all choose a clinical mentor who meets with them longitudinally during their training experience. In aggregate, these relationships foster a culture of continuous learning and mutual respect, cultivating a new generation of well-rounded critical care experts.

Core Lecture Series: Nurturing Knowledge and Insight

Foundational knowledge is critical to successful intensive care management. Our fellows partake in a comprehensive Core Lecture Series, beginning in the early summer. This series covers essential topics, ranging from advanced hemodynamics to ventilator management. The series also cultivates a deep understanding of the evidence-based practices that underpin our patient care strategies. New this year is a companion simulation series, which allow our fellows to immediately practice what they were taught during the core lecture series in a safe environment.

In the subsequent editions of our training focused newsletters, we will delve deeper into how we support the development of well-rounded Critical Care leaders.

Until then, keep our new fellows in your minds as they embark on an exciting journey toward being excellent pediatric intensivists.

From The PICU – Empowering Excellence
Back To Top