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University of Toronto Surgical Skills Centre at Mount Sinai Hospital Offers Its Programming During COVID-19 Pandemic

The following editorial by Lisa Satterthwaite, RPN, ORT on reviving their center’s programming during the pandemic first appeared in REVIVAL Fall/ Winter 2020, the University of Toronto Surgical Skills Centre at Mount Sinai Hospital quarterly newsletter.

Lisa Satterthwaite, RPN, ORTSpring and summer have now passed, and we continue to weather the COVID storm. I believe we will continue to ride this wave until a vaccine is available. A sobering reality but a challenge we can rise above. 

Our programs at SimSinai for the most part came to a standstill, however as we settled into the management of the virus, we were able to support educational programs with directives provided that included 100% mask wearing at all times, hospital entry screening, social distancing measures, reduced room occupancy numbers and correct disinfection techniques for our environment, mannequins and models. We are always working to keep you safe!

Working with directives from Heart and Stroke, we were able to restart our ACLS program over the summer and fall seasons. A maximum of eight registrants were allowed per program. We were unsure of the response to the program offering but were pleased to see our registration slots fill quickly. Since June we have supported approximately 13 Provider and Renewal programs with another 10 booked for fall 2020. Currently all ACLS Provider Programs are full but Winter 2021 dates will be posted in the coming weeks. With the opening of the SimSinai Centre we were able to support over 185 registrants with certification or renewal of their ACLS status. 

Heart and Stroke deems that all ACLS registrants must have a current Heart and Stroke BLS certificate to qualify for ACLS. In order to help registrant, obtain the pre course certification more easily we now offer the BLENDED (STACKED) program that includes BLS certification in conjunction with your ACLS course. The cost for the BLS portion is $50.00 extra and includes both online and in person modules. The BLENDED (STACKED) program has proven to be popular with most registrants including it in their ACLS registration. As a result of the success for the restart of the program, I would be remiss not to include a massive thank you to our ACLS instructor Scott Andrews for offering his availability to teach during this crisis. Scotts dedication to education, professionalism and attention to detail has made the SimSinai ACLS program a leader in the field. Thank you Scott, from all of us.

If you prefer a private group ACLS course, we can arrange this for you. Our minimum is six registrants and a maximum of eight. Contact for further information.

This fall we also saw a renewal of our BLS programs that includes both Provider (full program) and Renewal sessions. Program dates are listed on our website. 

Please visit for registration details. We will host a maximum of nine registrants and provide full safety compliance. Once again if you are in need of a private BLS course, arrangements can be made at .

Over the past four weeks, we have also been able to resurrect the Sinai Health System BLS certification program to ensure hospital staff are up to date with their Heart and Stroke certification. Thank you to Mathew Ko RT and BLS instructor for keeping the program active!

In June, some of our limited programs included an orientation for dentistry residents, cardiology boot camp, EMR, CCFP airway boot camp, hospital staff BLS, protected code blue, abbreviated Methods of Adult Procedural Sedation for the EOPS nurses, and 11 south nursing education. So, as you can see, we are up and running and here to support your educational needs. Contact us any time to book a course review with Marina. 

In the coming months, we look forward to restarting our in-situ CODE BLUE training events as part of the ARC committee requirements. With the support of our mobile SimMan simulator, we can provide code blue training support anywhere! The training can include codes specific to area needs or an opportunity to review and rehearse past code events. Sessions will include the support of the new ZOLL defibrillators that are now being upgraded throughout the hospital. It is important to train using the actual equipment you will use during a code so that user errors can be reduced, and user confidence increased. All codes are now “protected code blue” level so an opportunity to rehearse the don and doff techniques as well as the use of the GlideScope extremely valuable during this unpredictable time in health care delivery.

Please stay safe and stay healthy and know that we are here to support your educational needs!

Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.
Robert Collier (1885-1950), American self-help author