Life EMS helps design simulation for health professions students

standardized patient on gym floor, paramedic and others surrounding
A Life EMS paramedic discusses a simulation using standardized patients in the gym at Finkelstein Hall February 19.
Image Credit: Autumn Johnson

More than 30 students who are majoring in nursing, health professions or athletic training participated in an interdisciplinary simulation with Life EMS paramedics at Raleigh J. Finkelstein Hall February 19.

The simulation was coordinated by the Office of the Vice Provost for Health as part of the PIPES (Promoting Interprofessional Education for Students) curriculum. 

Katie Branch, director of simulation, said the simulation in the Finkelstein gym started with students participating in a free throw contest. Two standardized patients were among the group, and Branch said shortly into the contest, one SP had a simulated hypoglycemic reaction, lost consciousness, fell and injured her wrist. The other SP portrayed the injured person's boyfriend and only spoke Spanish.

Elizabeth Sturtridge is a senior majoring in athletic training. She said she was caught off-guard when the SP patient fell to the floor.

"I had no information on what the scenario would be, but believe I played a supporting role and I fetched a cervical collar and displayed a calm demeanor while talking to the patient," Sturtridge said.

Brian Bradford's role was to call 911. The third-year physical therapy student said he appreciated the PIPES event because it provided an opportunity to talk with students from other disciplines about how they rely on each other during actual emergencies.

Branch said Life EMS paramedics were involved in designing the simulation and, after the event, discussed with students what information needed to be provided among different professions for transfer of patient care.