Clarion University-Venango Interdisciplinary Simulation Training Prepares Students for the Workplace

| May 23, 2018

OIL CITY, Pa. – Clarion University – Venango nursing and respiratory care students participated in an interdisciplinary training day on May 1st to better prepare them for being part of a healthcare team as they move from educational training to workforce.

[Photo left to right:  Christina Weidle (nursing faculty), Harry Powell (nursing student), Alyce Wedikind (nursing student) is doing chest compressions, Greg Sambor (respiratory care faculty) at the head of the patient bed, and providing oxygen are respiratory therapy students Matthew Sibley (RT) and Tasia Weber (RT)]

Interdisciplinary simulations focused on patients in situations of cardiac and respiratory arrest.  These are high stress medical events that typically are anxiety producing for students.  The high-fidelity mannequins used at the campus are able to be programmed to mimic real patients that blink, have reactive pupils, pulses, have lung, heart, and bowel sounds, breathe, and can be intubated and defibrillated.  The mannequins can be programmed with respiratory rate, heart rate, and blood pressure of which during a simulation, can be altered to mimic real life situations that improve and decline.  

“This is the type of interdisciplinary learning opportunity that is uniquely emphasized across all of our academic programs within the College of Health Sciences and Human Services at Clarion University,” said Dr. Jeffery Allen, College Dean.  

The main outcome of a cross-disciplinary simulation allows students to learn hands-on collaboration with various healthcare roles in a critical situation. The real-life simulation better prepares students to act effectively, to decrease anxiety, and to know the important initial steps to take to be an effective healthcare professional.  

 “The students are getting ready to graduate and we want to make the simulation as real as possible. By introducing both of these areas of clinical focus in healthcare training in addition to their different priorities and roles (nursing and respiratory) each will be collaborating with, in critical situations, helped to make this exercise more realistic, while seeing various perspectives of care with the same goal of reviving the patient,” said Chris Weidle, nursing faculty.  “As a teacher I truly enjoyed this day. I liked working with my other colleagues and students from the respiratory program. I was challenged by the fact that it stretched my focus (nursing) in simulations.”

Objectives of the cross-disciplinary simulation was to recognize change in patient condition, identify V-Tach and V-fib rhythms, how to initiate the Rapid Response and to carry out actions needed for initiation of Rapid Response that deteriorates to an arrest situation, initiate Basic Life Support (BLS), demonstrate therapeutic communication with patient, family and staff, and to exhibit competent role performance under stressful conditions.  

Greg Sambor, respiratory care faculty member and nursing faculty including Chris Weidle, Nicolle Carroll, Kathy Cochran, Pat Boland and Helen Baker, created the mock cross-disciplinary simulations to include both cardiac and respiratory arrest situations.  In addition to the simulations, Don Hosey RN, Director of Clarion Emergency Medical Services provided information on trauma and emergency medicine,  Heidi Boitnott RN, UPMC Northwest emergency department director provided Naloxone Training, and Marie Plummer, Venango County’s substance abuse director provided each student with a Naloxone kit to be used to treat narcotic drug overdose.    

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