Nursing and health sciences students take part in fall risk simulation

fall prevention
From left: Ryan Perry, an accelerated nursing student, Kara Mistretta, a senior occupational therapy student, and Danielle Potter, a sixth-year physical therapy student, help prepare for the day-long interactive display in the model apartment.

Sept. 26, 2013 - To increase awareness of fall prevention, students in our schools of health sciences and nursing participated in a fall-risk display on Sept. 26 in the model apartment in the Center for Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences on the North Haven Campus.

The simulation was designed to help students, faculty and staff better understand why people fall and how to prevent injuries.

"It is a cool event that helped us put the skills we learned in class to good use," said Elena Orlando, a senior nursing student who participated in examining the model apartment for situations that increase fall risk.

"We usually see this in a hospital setting and it was interesting to see it in a home setting," said Nora Kate O'Brien, a senior nursing student who also participated in the event.

Participants were asked to walk through the model apartment and identify as many fall hazards as they could. The hazards were staged to show students across the health science and nursing disciplines what to be aware of in a real-life situation.

In addition to the model apartment walk-through, a half-dozen information stations gave further insights about fall risks and prevention.

"With our occupation, we work with the elderly a lot and this gives us a hands-on opportunity to analyze fall-prevention," said Drew McGovern a sixth-year physical therapy student.

Tracy Van Oss, clinical associate professor of occupational therapy, helped organize the event.

"Our plan for the future is to open this to more majors and to the broader community to educate seniors about all of the hazards in the home," said Van Oss.