Mother Child W Physician

Simulation Program

The Simulation Program was founded in 2010 utilizing unoccupied patient care space (Center 4) with the vision of promoting excellence in pediatric healthcare through simulation experiences in a structured, safe learning environment using state of the art equipment. Due to patient care, safety, and educational benefits, the need for a dedicated simulation-based education space was identified. 
Through the visionary leadership of invested individuals, along with generous philanthropic support, the Children’s Wisconsin (CW) Simulation Center was created in 2013 and is inclusive of state-of-the-art technology and a thoughtful design conducive of a safe, effective, and innovative learning environment. Through the generous cumulative donation of Dairy Cares of Wisconsin, in 2018 the Simulation Center was renamed the CW Dairy Cares of Wisconsin Simulation Lab. The CW Dairy Cares of Wisconsin Simulation Program has two locations, the CW Dairy Cares of Wisconsin Simulation Lab-Children’s Corporate Center (CCC), located on the 4th Floor of the Children’s Corporate Center, and CW Dairy Cares of Wisconsin Simulation Lab-Main Hospital, located on the 7th Floor of the Main Hospital. Together Children’s Wisconsin and the Medical College of Wisconsin offers many simulation opportunities within the Children’s Wisconsin Dairy Cares of Wisconsin Simulation Lab.

About Our Program

About Simulation-Based Education

Simulation is a generic term that refers to an artificial representation of a real-world process to achieve educational goals through experiential learning. Simulation-based education is defined as an educational activity that utilizes simulation technology to replicate real life clinical scenarios. Simulation for health professional education is being utilized more frequently and has routinely been used in other high-risk professions such as aviation and shipping industries. Health professional simulation allows for more efficient acquisition of clinical skills through deliberate practice, in addition to the more traditional apprentice style of learning. With simulation tools as an alternate to a real patient, a trainee can make mistakes and learn from them without the risk or fear of patient harm. Health professional simulation research reveals significant advantages including improved patient safety, quality of care, improved team performance and reduction of health care costs.

The simulated scenarios and manikins are highly realistic and engage the learners emotionally and intellectually, thus providing a unique learning experience wherein the “patient” actually talks, breathes, blinks, and moves similar to a real human patient. Simulation can be adapted to replicate any health care environment, such as an operating room, emergency department, or intensive care unit; and to accommodate any health care professional, including physicians, nurses, paramedics, and respiratory therapists.

Health professional training programs have to ensure that the learners are exposed to a variety of learning opportunities to obtain the vital knowledge and skills necessary to provide excellent and safe care. Clinical competencies including but not limited to: communication, teamwork, gathering a history, professionalism, ethical considerations, physical examination, procedural skills, diagnostic reasoning, resuscitation skills, critical thinking and decision making, simple to complex problem solving, organization and prioritization, and information technology skills are all components of the simulation-based education curriculum at the Children’s Wisconsin.

Advantages of Simulation Learning

  • Health care simulation has four primary purposes—education, assessment, research, and health system integration with the goal of facilitating and promoting patient safety. Simulation education is a bridge between classroom learning and real-life clinical experiences. Advantages of simulation learning include:
    • Hands-on and critical thinking skill development including knowledge-in-action, procedures, decision-making, and effective communication.
    • Critical teamwork behaviors, such as managing a high workload and coordinating under stress, can be taught and practiced.
    • Allows for a safe learning environment with freedom to make mistakes and to learn from them without risk of harm to a real person.
    • By seeing the outcome of their mistakes, learners gain powerful insight into the consequences of their actions and the need to get it right.
    • Learning experiences can be customized to accommodate a range of learners from novices to experts.
    • Opportunity for detailed feedback and evaluation by training facilitators.

Who uses the Simulation Program space?

  • Health care and allied health professionals who care for children.
  • Patients and families
Our Space

We do simulation training at the Children’s Wisconsin Dairy Cares Simulation Lab.


Learn More on Children's Connect


Simulation Scenario Template


What’s happening in the Simulation Program?

Other Resources

Schedule of Events

Currently under construction, more information to come!

Hosting an Event
Visit Children’s Connect for more information regarding how to schedule a session! 

Schedule a Session

You can help support the Simulation Lab through your donations.

Donate Now

Primary Operational Team

Tara Petersen, MD, MSEd

Petersen Tara

Associate Professor, Pediatrics (Critical Care)
Vice Chair of Education, Department of Pediatrics
Medical Director, Pediatric Simulation Program

Katie McDermott, MSN, MEHP, RN, CPNP-AC

Katie McDermott

Program Director, Pediatric Simulation Program

Cathleen Brummer, MSM, C-TAGME

Cathleen Brummer

Program Manager II, Pediatric Medical Education and Global Health

Sharon Stiles

Stiles Sharon

Simulation Program Coordinator

Secondary Operational Team

Christopher Jensen


Director, Educational Services



Contact Us

For all Children's Wisconsin Dairy Cares of Wisconsin Simulation Lab based questions, please contact us via email!

Sharon Stiles, Simulation Program Coordinator