Students participate in simulations to develop better interprofessional skills, perspective

Schorr
Quinnipiac University athletic training students Leanne Griffith and Marc Drobenko tend to David Bartolotta, an athletic training staff member, as part of an interprofessional simulation on the North Haven Campus. The three students responding with the stretcher are Matthew Baxter, left, Alex Cieply and Brian Gerlach, who are all in the entry-level physician assistant program.

Nov. 6, 2013 - Quinnipiac University's College of Arts and SciencesSchool of Health Sciences and School of Nursing are participating in a series of interdisciplinary simulations over four weeks to better understand how to work with each other through difficult health-focused scenarios.

  "When we care for our patients, we are not giving care in a silo," said Darlene Rogers, lab coordinator in the School of Nursing, who organized the event with the help of the university's Interprofessional Simulation Learning and Assessment Committee. "We are always working with other professionals to give the best care possible. This is an opportunity for students from many disciplines to work together interprofessionally to care for their patient and his family during a crisis."

 The student volunteers are following the life of "Josh," a 16-year-old character who was injured during a soccer game, over four consecutive weeks in the Center for Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences on Quinnipiac's North Haven Campus. Cancer was suspected after he was rushed to an operating room after being examined in an emergency room. Later, the students confirmed to his parents, portrayed by faculty, that Josh had cancer.

Eventually, hospice care will be established - where he will eventually die on Wednesday, Nov. 13. At the end of each week, the students discuss what they learned, where they exceled and what they could do better.  

"It's great practice and gives us a better idea of what we know and what we still need to improve," said Matt Nankin, a second-year graduate physician assistant student. "There are so many different roles in medicine and each of us provides a unique service - but only when performed together can we offer comprehensive patient care."  

He said the simulation gave him a better idea of what his colleagues will be doing in the emergency and operating rooms.  

"I feel like when I complete this program, I will be really prepared," Nankin said.  

Nicole Ballachino, a senior nursing major, said the simulation taught her things that would be difficult to learn in a classroom.  

"We normally don't get to see what people in other health care careers do," she said. "It's a wonderful opportunity to work with people in other majors and understand what they do and what challenges they face."  

Among the programs involved: athletic training, cardiovascular perfusion, nurse practitioner, nursing, occupational therapy, physician assistant, physical therapy and social work.