Roberta Hales

Member, Board of Directors
Roberta Hales, RN RT

About Roberta Hales

Over the past 9 years, I have served as the Simulation Educator for the Center for Simulation, Advanced Education and Innovation at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. My interest in healthcare simulation started in the pediatric intensive care unit as a respiratory therapist and nurse when my current medical director involved me in the evaluation of a prototype simulator.  I seized the opportunity and my involvement in healthcare simulation commenced. Since the inception of our simulation center, I have been instrumental in the development of the mission, vision and growth.  As the first hire, I worked side-by-side with the simulation center directors to generate buy-in, growth, strategies and future prospects. I have been an integral part in the development of the center’s education/curriculum development process, instructor training workshop, and identification of resources required to achieve a successful simulation program. Moreover, in conjunction with center staff the formation of our policies and procedures arose to provide standardization in the daily operations of our simulation center. Today, I function as the Lead Simulation Educator to provide guidance and direction, and mentorship and leadership to our staff and internal and external customers in order to align the center’s undertakings in support of the institution’s mission, values and strategic goals. In addition, I have expanded my horizons by joining the faculty at Drexel University, College of Medicine as a curriculum developer and Associate Assistant Professor in the Master of Science in Medical and Healthcare Simulation program.

In 2010, I became involved in the International Pediatric Simulation Society (IPSS) when I attended my first International Pediatric Simulation and Symposium Workshop (IPSSW) conference in Madrid, Spain, where I presented my runner-up research abstract in an oral presentation.  From my first IPSSW encounter, I was truly inspired and became a believer that IPSS is the forum for me. My passion for pediatric simulation bloomed and I was excited that I finally found my niche.

Since I joined IPSS, I have become an active member, where currently I serve on the Education Committee (since 2011) and I had the privilege to serve as a co-chair on the organizing committee for IPSSW 2014. In the same year, I was elected to the Education Committee co-chair and currently serve on the Advisory Committee for IPSSW 2015. Through these wonderful experiences I come to appreciate the opportunities and challenges for the society as a whole.

As a simulation professional, my passion for simulation circles around quality and safe patient care, system and process improvement (integration), and the fundamentals of healthcare education.  I believe IPSS has the educational and research platform to help these areas grow in the international simulation community.  This begins with providing education and research opportunities along with the needed resources to the current and up-and-coming generation of “neonatal and pediatric simulationists”.  We (IPSS) need to provide guidance and mentorship, and potentially training so these “simulationists” can produce successful simulation programs. We do not want them to recreate the wheel; we want the next generation to take healthcare simulation to the higher level. We want them to flourish, influence and expand the countless possibilities of healthcare simulation.

As a society, we need to think “outside the box” on how to create opportunities and resources for our members. A few years ago, the society administered a needs assessment.  The needs assessment identified many areas of interest including curriculum and faculty development, debriefing, assessment etc… Two areas, curriculum and faculty development peaked my interest. In my experience, I have discovered the lack of understanding around curriculum and faculty development.  I believe these are the foundations to a successful simulation program. I think IPSS has the means to help address these educational gaps along with others by providing learning opportunities, guidance and support to the members.  Furthermore, I think we need to leverage the current and maybe newer members to join us in developing creative and equally benefiting solutions that will honor the key interests of the IPSS members.

Finally, I feel the key to IPSS success is an international, interprofessional team, where everyone is committed to work towards a common vision/goal by bringing together many voices from many regions to develop innovative and win-win approaches. I feel my passion and experience in education, simulation, and leadership provides me the foundation to contribute and an assest to the IPSS Board of Directors. I would be honored to serve on the Board of Directors for the International Pediatric Simulation Society.


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