Lifesaving resuscitation is required for approximately 1 in 100 patients in the pediatric intensive care unit. Certification renewal alone is insufficient to guarantee adequate knowledge, skills, and confidence among staff members involved in infrequent resuscitation events.

Local Problem

Knowledge and skill gaps were identified in pediatric intensive care unit staff members involved in patient resuscitation events. The primary aim of this quality improvement project was to optimize patient resuscitations through improved staff performance and coordination between interdisciplinary roles.


A multidisciplinary committee was created to develop, implement, and evaluate a mock code program. Surveys were administered before and after the intervention to assess self-perceived resuscitation performance and program effectiveness. Code sheets were analyzed for documentation quality and adherence to pediatric advanced life support guidelines. The committee used a multimodal approach to education, including high-and low-fidelity in situ mock code simulations and supplemental educational events.


From September 2018 through January 2020, the committee conducted 65 events for almost 500 participants. Nurses’ levels of self-reported confidence in initiating pediatric advanced life support interventions and identifying cardiac rhythms increased, as did perceived level of competence and knowledge. Most unit staff members considered the mock code program to be “very to extremely effective” in increasing resuscitation competence, confidence, communication, teamwork, and role clarity. Adherence to recommended resuscitation behaviors improved, as did code sheet documentation quality.


An in situ mock code program using a multimodal approach to education can be a successful educational adjunct to biennial pediatric advanced life support certification.

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