Nursing, athletic training students collaborate on orthopedic simulation lab

September 27, 2022 (Volume 46, Number 3)
Article by Michele Coffill

Students who are pursuing a master's degree in athletic training portrayed patients with symptoms of the orthopedic injuries that they usually assess during a collaborative lab with the Kirkhof College of Nursing.

Nicole Harpold, assistant professor of nursing, said standard patients typically are used during simulations but athletic training students were brought in so nurse practitioner students could practice their orthopedic evaluation skills, then determine which tests to use to diagnose the injury. Athletic training students provided feedback on techniques, including hand placement and pressure. 

Groups were given three case studies that focused on ankle, knee and shoulder injuries.

"Our athletic trainer faculty and students are experts in musculoskeletal injuries and exams, and this led to the idea of trying to partner for this lab," Harpold said, adding orthopedic injuries are common patient complaints in a primary care setting.

Shari Bartz-Smith, associate professor and program director for athletic training, said second-year master's students, who had one year of injury assessment experience, portrayed patients. 

"This activity allowed us to work collaboratively with another health profession and share with them the knowledge base of the athletic trainer, while, at the same time, we learn the multiple roles of the nurse practitioner," Bartz-Smith said.

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This article was last edited on September 26, 2022 at 1:36 p.m.

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