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Nursing and Interprofessional Education

SickKids is a fast paced, highly complex tertiary/quaternary hospital where we care for a vulnerable population of children and their families. Our clinical staff are highly trained health care professionals who are supported through continued learning that is necessary for health care professionals to deliver the best in quality health care. The Learning Institute is committed to supporting our clinical staff to continue to advance their specialized clinical knowledge and skills to continue to meet changing patient care needs. Our programs emphasize quality care delivery, staff and patient safety, and developmentally appropriate approaches and child and family centred care within an interprofessional context.

Best available evidence is used or created to inform educational programming supporting clinical practice to positively influence quality care outcomes. Our clinical education and training programs are designed to support clinician competency and promote excellence in providing innovative solutions to continually improve patient care.

We strive to use a variety of learning methods to support continued development including eLearning, instructor–led, simulation, case-based, and clinical experiential learning to meet the needs of interprofessional learners. Our Education Standards guide our programming.

Interprofessional Education Specialists (IES)

Interprofessional Education Specialists are individuals who have advanced degrees and expertise in clinical specialities and adult education. This group supports the education programming of the Learning Institute focusing on clinical education, organizational development, nursing orientation, policy & procedure development, clinical coaching and mentoring. Many IES are sought out by external stakeholders to consult on paediatric care locally, nationally and internationally. IES are focused on building capacity in people, processes and systems through education and learning.

  • Karen Breen-Ried, Interprofessional Education Manager
  • Michelle Bertoni, NICU
  • Elena Blackwood, Caring Safely
  • Daniela Bruce, 7A
  • Ann Chang, 8AB, 6E
  • Stephanie Chu, Connected Care
  • Barbara Couper, Centre for Global Child Health
  • Vivianne Coutu, OR
  • Daniela D’Annunzio, Central Education
  • Lisa Fowler, NICU
  • Grace Garvey, Central Education
  • Carrie Glanfield, Emergency Medicine
  • Rheanna Glombitza, 5C Neurosurgery and Trauma
  • Vera Gueorguieva, Central Education
  • Cecilia Hyslop, CCCU, Labatt Family Heart Centre
  • Lisa Honeyford, 8D, Haem/Onc clinics
  • Heather Hudson, Ontario Poison Centre
  • Sophie Joseph, PICU
  • Sharon Lorber, Code White Program
  • Annette Martins, ACTS
  • Sara McEwan, 5B, 5A, 5D Clinic
  • Carrie Morgan, 4D, Labatt Family Heart Centre
  • Adelina Morra, 7BCD
  • Darlene Murray, Diagnostic Imaging, Vasc. Access
  • Sandhaya Parekh, PACU, 4C
  • Margaret Schwann, 6A, 6B, Dialysis
  • Lisa Smith, Nipissing SPP
  • Peter Su, 8C clinics

Interprofessional Care and Education 

Effective teamwork is a critical enabler of safe, high quality care. In order to create a system-wide framework to serve as a roadmap to advance a collective vision of Interprofessional Collaboration (IPC) across all TAHSN hospitals, SickKids has been part of a TAHSNp working group focused on two main objectives. These include the adoption of an organizational IPC competency framework and the implementation of a Team Assessment (ACT) Toolkit. 

The competency framework that has been adopted by all the hospitals including SickKids is the Canadian Interprofessional Health Collaborative National Interprofessional Framework which includes 6 competency domains; child/family community centred care, communication, role clarity, conflict, team functioning and collaborative leadership. The ACT toolkit is being implemented by a small working group. The new program is called Building Up Collaborative Teams which is based on the 6 competencies and will include support with the team assessment tool and identifying a strategy tailored to the competency the team wants to work on. 

Professional Services Educators  

Professional Services Educators (PSE) are health care professionals from a variety of disciplines who have educational responsibilities within their role.  Many PSE facilitate their discipline specific student placement programs, run academic programs in the hospital, and support onboarding and teaching of new and experienced interprofessional staff. The PSE are members of the SickKids Learning Institute and champions of interprofessional education and collaborative practice.  

Denise Carraretto

Co-Chair, Interprofessional Education Council

Mandi Kohli

Co-Chair, Interprofessional Education Council

Paediatric Nursing Orientation  

Nurses at SickKids require specific paediatric knowledge and skills in order to provide the level of expertise that is unique to children with highly complex acute and chronic health challenges. For nurses to provide highly specialized care they participate in a comprehensive evidence based paediatric nursing orientation that includes both foundational and specialty paediatrics relevant to their clinical area.   

The Paediatric Nursing Orientation (PNO) program includes instructor-led classroom, virtual learning, simulation, skills lab, and eLearning components, as well as a clinical experience component with an expert clinician preceptor to consolidate knowledge into practice. The program is designed to be learner-centred, and competency based supporting nurses to be successful in their paediatric clinical practice. PNO is grounded in Strengths-Based Nursing Care and aligns with the Canadian Paediatric Nursing Standards.   The SickKids’ Child and Family Centered Care Framework and Interprofessional Standards of practice provide a foundation for this program which promotes partnerships with children and families and interprofessional collaboration.  The program runs 4 times a year hiring to all specialty areas.  

Grace Garvey

Program Director

International Strategic Projects 

For more than ten years the Interprofessional Education Portfolio has been supporting SickKids International and Global Child Health in strategic projects around the world aimed at building capacity at the level of health systems, organizations and individuals health professionals. Strong collaborative partnerships are the core of an appreciative approach to change management to advance care for children broadly. WIth a focus on needs assessment, curriculum development and delivery, faculty development and program evaluation, mutually generated project goals are accomplished through a lens of sustainability. We have had the privilege of partnering in a number of countries including, China, Qatar, Ghana, South Africa, Ethiopia, as well as a number of Caribbean countries.

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