Health Science Majors, Faculty To Study Each Other

Donya Forst, Print Editor

Medical imaging, nursing and physical therapy students and faculty are working together to study something new: each other.

Students and faculty will stage an interprofessional medical scenario in which providers from different disciplines will learn to work with other to achieve the best patient care.

The event, which will take place Nov. 18 in the Passan Hall Nursing Lab, is part of a newly founded Interprofessional Education task force on campus. The group is comprised of health science faculty from the medical imaging, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech language pathology, nursing, and sonography departments.

“Interprofessional education occurs anytime you have two or more professions that are learning about and from each other,” said Assistant Professor of Physical Therapy, Lorie Brogan.

“Our mission is to engage students and faculty in interprofessional education experiences to support collaborative team approaches to patient care,” said Assistant Professor of Medical Imaging, Gina Capitano.

The activity is a simulation of how the nursing, medical imaging and physical therapy staffs would work together in a real life hospital setting, on a post operative patient who had hip replacement surgery.

“It’s going to be very realistic,” said Brogan. The patient will be in bed and will have a simulated incision from the procedure.

“Imaging has to go in and do an AP and cross table lateral of the hip. PT has to show how they work on patient transfers and the how the patient has to modify their range of motion because of the hip replacement. Nursing is obviously working with the wound care,” said Capitano.

Seventy students from the three majors will be involved in the scenario, which will run 25 times.

“There will be five beds running at five different times. We are just going to keep rotating through. It’s going to be an interesting night,” said Brogan.

The event is a non-graded voluntary opportunity to help students get experience. While this has never been done before on campus, students and staff are excited to see how it plays out.

“This event will be very valuable for my education just in the fact that I can start to work with students from other healthcare fields and we can begin to put our knowledge together. In the near future, we will all have to be a part of a team that works together for the good of the patient and this activity will help us to be more prepared and confident once we graduate,” said first year graduate DPT student Kaileen Metzger.

Senior medical imaging major Cheyenne Wulff recalls going into clinicals prepared from all of her medical imaging classes, but not really feeling educated about how to interact with other health care professionals.

“I remember starting clinic and being completely terrified of the other professions and how to interact with them. I was only educated on medical imaging, and I personally thought it would be beneficial to me to see how the other professions interacted with the patients,” said Wulff.

Wulff also participated in a dry run of the activity earlier in the semester. Wulff said

her involvement has helped her learn things she otherwise would not have known.

“I did not know much about how PT interacts with the patient and during the practice run, I learned a lot of important things in regard to the patient. For example, I learned how to properly move the patient after a hip replacement. Before that activity, I just followed instructions from the other R.T.s, but now I know the proper way to move the patient and what precautions to take,” said Wulff.

The activity will be videotaped so students can go back later and see how they did.

“While the scenario is taking place, we are going to be videoing with the iPads, and then there is going to be a time frame after the care takes place where the team gets together, reviews their video and says what did we do well, what did we do not so well and how can we make this better care for the patient,” said Capitano.

The task force’s goal is to incorporate more interprofessional activities in the curriculum.

“When we communicate and we work well together, it’s a better patient experience. Research has shown there is better patient safety and less margin for error if we all talk to one another,” said Brogan.

Capitano and Brogan organized the event with Assistant Professor of Physical Therapy Kristen Karnish, Nursing Laboratories Manager and Clinical Coordinator Audrey Cunfer and Assistant Professor of Nursing Patricia Maloney.