“It’s been a pretty good Take Your Kids to Work Day,” said Sasha Sasata, a big grin spreading across his face.
Sasha is one of 18 Grade 9 students who participated in the province’s first simulation initiative for Grade 9 students at Royal University Hospital in Saskatoon. The initiative was born when Drs. Justina Koshinsky and Sean Coquet, two anesthesiologists, were trying to figure out how to involve their Grade 9 sons in Take Your Kids to Work Day.
Sasha choosing an instrument for his student colleague in the simulation operating room;
simulation-based learning gives doctors and nurses the opportunity to practice real-life
patient scenarios on high-tech mannequins without risking patient harm.
“When my oldest son was in Grade 9, he didn’t have the opportunity to see what I do every day,” Dr. Coquet said, explaining that due to safety and patient privacy concerns, physicians are often unable to show their kids what they actually do.
With this initiative, his second-born Tyler had the opportunity to be an assistant anesthesiologist in a mock surgery with a patient suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning in the operating room.
Tyler (right), in his role as assistant anesthesiologist, consulting with residentdoctor Tim Bolton, PGY5, while his student colleagues
operate on the patient.
“Getting to see the surgery was pretty cool,” he said. “I want to be a pediatric anesthesiologist just like my dad.”
Tyler treating a patient with carbon monoxide poisoning in an immersive simulation environment, providing him and his student colleagues with an opportunity to see both the exciting and challenging aspects of a career in medicine.
Tyler and his fellow students participated in a total of three medical simulations with resident doctors from the Department of Anesthesia. The other two scenarios included managing respiratory failure in the recovery room and disclosing an adverse event to a patient after surgery.
“It’s nice to see high school students who are keen to learn and interested in medicine,” said Dr. Tim Bolton, a fifth-year anesthesiology resident. “It’s fun for us to have an opportunity to do some teaching to young, bright minds. It’s been a good day.”
Anesthesiology residents (from left to right): A. J. Elzahabi, PGY4; Ritika Khatkar, PGY2; Tim Bolton, PGY5
After each simulation, the students participated in a debriefing session with the resident doctors and Drs. Koshinsky and Coquet.
“They ask a lot of questions!” said Dr. Elzahabi. “They’re showing that this younger generation is bright.”
A group of students participating in a debriefing session and learning about how carbon monoxide affects oxygen delivery.
The students also worked on technical skills, such as intubation (placement of a breathing tube), laparoscopic surgery and ultrasound, as well as learned how to image different parts of the body and how to identify different cardiac pathologies with a stethoscope.
On the right, one of the students performs CPR on a mannequin as her student colleague claps the timing of the compressions.
A student learning how to take a patient’s pulse.
Students learning how to resuscitate a patient.
In the afternoon, the students toured a medical research lab, providing them with exposure to another aspect of medicine.
“Our goal was to show them as many different facets of medicine that we could, from clinical patient care experiences to teaching and research,” said Dr. Koshinsky. “Often, our children are only exposed to the negative side of our jobs: the long hours, missed dinners, birthdays and sporting events, and tired parents. They don’t get to see the things we do and why we love what we do. I hope they got a sense of that on Take Your Kids to Work Day.”
The founders of the province’s first medical simulation for Take Your Kids to Work Day,
Dr. Koshinsky and her son Sasha (left) and
Dr. Coquet and his son Tyler (right).
“Our hope is that we can expand this in subsequent years and give other kids an opportunity,” said Dr. Coquet.
This year, participants included students with parents in anesthesiology, neuroscience, emergency, general surgery, and physical medicine and rehabilitation, as well as students from the general public who accompanied their friends.
“It was a lot of fun!” exclaimed friends Mischa Reiter and Lauren Douglas.
From left to right: Mischa Reiter, whose mom is an anesthesiologist, and her friend Lauren Douglas.