For Healthcare Professionals

Annual Neonatology Boot Camp Preps First-year Fellows

This past July, CHOP’s Division of Neonatology held the 4th Annual Regional Neonatology Boot Camp for first-year fellows. The program — developed and directed by Anne Ades, MD, attending neonatologist and director of CHOP’s Neonatology Medical Education program, and Heather French, MD, attending neonatologist — is designed to train first-year Neonatology fellows in common neonatal technical skills (such as intubation, umbilical lines, and chest tubes), and non-technical skills (like communication, leadership, and teamwork), and prepare them to respond to critical situations all in a simulated clinical environment prior to their first NICU clinical experiences as a fellow.

Simulation is an ideal method to learn to integrate behavioral, cognitive, and procedural skills, which are rarely practiced in isolation but are frequently taught separately. High- and low-fidelity patient simulators as well as standardized patients (playing family members during counseling sessions) were used during the 2-day educational experience. A variety of educational modalities were employed, including didactic lectures, procedural training, teamwork/leadership exercises, and clinical simulations with debriefings.

This year’s event saw 34 attendees from 12 regional academic Neonatology Annual Neonatology Boot Camp Preps First-Year Fellows programs (CHOP, St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children, Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals, Penn State Hershey, Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York University, UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, University of Maryland Medical Center, Johns Hopkins Children’s Center, Children’s National Medical Center, and West Virginia University School of Medicine). Thirty simulation specialists, Neonatology faculty, senior fellows, nurse practitioners, and RNs from the participating programs helped facilitate the simulations, acted in confederate roles for the simulations, and taught procedural skills.

“Without the enthusiastic participation of these volunteers, the Boot Camp would not be as effective in its educational mission,” says French. “Keeping the student/teacher ratio low is one reason the Boot Camp has been so successful.”

A sampling of testimonials from this year’s attendee evaluations proves the program’s benefits:

If you are interested in learning more about neonatal simulation education at CHOP or observing, helping to facilitate, or bringing neonatology fellows to the 2014 Regional Neonatology Boot Camp, please contact Dr Ades ( or Dr French (

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