OPTIMUS (Optimising Paediatric Training In eMergencies Using Simulation): A pedagogically robust interprofessional paediatric resuscitation training program

Mrs Lisa Lucas1, Dr Ben  Lawton2

1Queensland Health / Metro South Health / Logan Hospital, Meadowbrook, Australia, 2Childrens Health Queensland, Brisbane, Australia

OPTIMUS (Optimising Paediatric Training In eMergencies Using Simulation) is a pedagogically robust interprofessional paediatric resuscitation training program, developed in partnership with Children’s Health Queensland (CHQ), that was implemented in our large Metropolitan mixed Emergency Department approximately 3 years ago.  There are three elements to the program: Clinical Observation and Response to Emergencies (CORE), a 4hr course covering patient deterioration and first tier response.  Preparation for Retrieval in Medical Emergencies (PRiME), an 8 hour course aimed at second tier responders and Practice Update for Life Saving Events (PULSE), a 1.5hr course aiming to maintain knowledge and skills developed during CORE and PRIME .

Since implementation we have noted increased staff confidence in caring for critically unwell children and increased staff satisfaction with the training program.  Evaluation comments include “This is the best education I’ve attended”, “very good for learning and practicing”, “excellent and pitched at exactly the right level”  and  “great way to build a team environment”.

Other benefits include the overall cost of maintaining this important skill set in a large volume of staff. The average cost of running the Optimus program is $132 / participant for Core and Prime and $42 / participant ongoing for Pulse, significantly less than popular alternatives.

The curricular design draws heavily on cognitive load theory and reflects Sawyer et al (2015) skills development framework, including deliberate skills maintenance opportunities. We have noted through implementation of PULSE, (a maintenance vehicle) that staff perform certain key resuscitative skills to a consistently high standard.

Overall, the OPTIMUS program offers a tiered training solution for clinicians to recognise and provide immediate resuscitative care to a deteriorating patient as well as provide advanced care in a resuscitation situation. The program provides the tools and support to deliver ongoing skills maintenance and a vehicle to efficiently translate key patient safety and coronial recommendations into clinical practice.


Lisa Lucas is the Paediatric Nurse Educator at Logan Emergency Department, a large metropolitan hospital in Queensland.   Lisa has a Masters in Emergency Nursing and has been working in emergency nursing for the past 13years. Lisa has also worked in major trauma centres, rural hospitals and retrieval services providing her with a widely diverse skill set in emergency nursing.  She has facilitated education workshops at the international emergency medicine conference in Nepal and advised the Nepalese nursing agency regarding the implementation of post graduate program for emergency nurses in Nepal.  Lisa’s passion for emergency nursing inspires her on a daily basis to strive for excellence, to provide the best possible care to patients.