News about Health Information Technology

Emergency Scenarios Translate to Real-Life Benefit for Students

Occupational therapy assistant student Rachel N. Zimmerman, of Pine Grove, shows physician assistant student Zachary S. Kimble, of Bellefonte (acting as a hip-replacement patient who later in the simulation would have a stroke) and other students watching how to use a “reacher” to help with dressing. Observing is Christine A. Tilburg, clinical director of physical therapist assistant.

Emergency medical services student Ian P. McClure, of Littlestown, and paramedic technician student Megan E. Bobby, of Dysart, explain the actions they would take when called to the Dental Hygiene Clinic to help a patient experiencing an allergic reaction to Novocain.

Surgical technology students simulate a laparoscopic gall bladder removal.

Around 250 students in the School of Health Sciences – an academic division that spans 11 distinct health care and allied health fields – are participating this week in a series of hands-on emergency health simulations. The school’s fourth annual Interdisciplinary Professional Event involves 24 student teams, each made up of a cross section of health disciplines, discussing and observing one another’s role in their assigned case. Students in the physician assistant major played roles of patients, whose health problems ranged from an allergic reaction to Novocain in the Dental Hygiene Clinic to a loss of consciousness in the Keystone Dining Room, and surgeries to replace hips and remove gallbladders. As “patients” moved through the health care system, they moved, with their observers, from lab to lab in the Breuder Advanced Technology & Health Sciences Center. The purpose of the experience is to prepare the students to deliberatively work together as patients interact with each of them during their health care experience, with an ultimate goal to improve patient care. Also involved were 23 staff and faculty from the school, who planned and managed the event and led groups through their simulations on Tuesday and Thursday.

Online Learning Options at Penn College Offer Enhanced Flexibility

Penn College offers a beautiful, modern campus in Williamsport, but for students who need the flexibility of online programs, the college provides a variety of options.

Pennsylvania College of Technology is renowned for its “degrees that work,” and for those needing additional flexibility to attain a degree from the college, online options abound.

Online learning at Penn College offers more choices to students who are balancing work and family responsibilities. The offerings feature the same academic rigor and accreditation as on-campus programs, but there is no requirement to ever attend class on the campus in Williamsport. Online students may choose to enroll full time or part time.

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Foundation’s Generosity Endows Scholarship, Creates Opportunity

A significant grant from the Tamaqua-based John E. Morgan Foundation will allow students from that area to enroll in Pennsylvania College of Technology’s distinctive “degrees that work.”

The nonprofit foundation’s $500,000 contribution establishes the John E. Morgan Scholarship, which will give first preference to graduates of Tamaqua Area High School who are pursuing “a degree that is not readily available from other institutions, at a comparable price, within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.”

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Students Hold Seminar on Health Information Careers

Students pursuing associate degrees in health information technology at Pennsylvania College of Technology recently held a seminar for other students in the major.

The focus of the seminar was job hunting and career advice. The students, all in their final semester, determined the topic and schedule and invited five speakers, four who are graduates of Penn College’s health information majors. Each offered practical guidance from the working-world perspective.

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Student Intern Coordinates Brunch for Veterans at Rose View

Air Force veteran Willie Keyes sits alongside Bradly M. Lantz, a Navy veteran and physician assistant student.

Ray Fisher, a Marine Corps veteran, shares his appreciation for the event. Next to him is health information technology student Sylvia Bidelspach, of Williamsport, who coordinated the get-together.

The group gathers for a photo.

Chet Beaver (left), financial aid specialist and veterans service coordinator for the college, jokes with Rose View residents and staff.

Rose View resident Joseph Bolden, a Navy veteran, and employee/Army veteran Jeff Fenstermacher chat during the event.

A student serving a health information internship at Rose View Center arranged a Veterans Day gathering for resident veterans to swap stories with student veterans from Penn College, as well as veterans on the nursing facility’s staff. Five students – members of Omega Delta Sigma veterans fraternity and the Veterans Club – ate brunch Friday with eight residents. Health information technology student Sylvia B. Bidelspach suggested and coordinated the event to provide a forum for younger generations to learn from the older group. In addition to brunch, Bidelspach arranged for musical entertainment by her grandmother, professional vocalist/pianist Coleen Renshaw. The Penn College veterans groups, with veterans services specialist Chet Beaver at the helm, presented a photo collage of the large American flag on campus to the nursing facility. The collage was made by photographer and Penn College alumnus and retiree Fred Gilmour.

Health Sciences Students Learn From One Another in Simulations

During a three-day set of emergency simulations that involved 320 Penn College students, Timothy F. Schwartzer (in hat), an emergency medical services student from Bensalem, explains to students in other health sciences majors how paramedics would begin treatment for a patient – played by a volunteer actor – who had fallen from a second-floor balcony.

Because a patient experiencing a health emergency will likely be cared for by many health care professionals with differing specialties, Pennsylvania College of Technology has taken an active approach to ensure that students understand the roles and collaboration necessary on a health care team.

The college’s School of Health Sciences took part in two recent events that involved more than 400 students in mock patient cases on its campus.

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Student-Run Seminar Brings Professionals’ Perspective to Campus

Students in Penn College’s health information technology major planned and facilitated a seminar featuring three health information professionals. The students, enrolled in a capstone course taught by Ashley D. Holmes, instructor of business administration/health information technology, are joined by Holmes (far left); Dan Christopher, assistant professor of business administration/health information technology (second from left); and Michelle M. Budnovitch, instructor of business administration/health information technology (far right).

Pennsylvania College of Technology students preparing to graduate in May with associate degrees in health information technology recently arranged a seminar on campus for other students in the academic program.

The 16 students are enrolled in a capstone course taught by Ashley D. Holmes, instructor of business administration/health information technology.

“The students do all of the preparation for the seminar, from the decision-making on locations and what food to serve, to what type of presenters they would like to have speak to our students, and on what topics,” Holmes said. “They do all the networking, lining up the presenters and putting on the seminar that day, as well. This group of students did a great job at capturing the biggest audience we have ever had at a seminar, with 84 students present.”

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Emergency Scenarios Aid Students’ Real-Life Readiness

While students from other majors observe, nursing student Amanda S. Kopczick, of Mifflinburg, takes the temperature of “patient” Kristina N. Varner, of Lewisburg.

Around 250 students and employees from the School of Health Sciences participated in three days’ worth of emergency simulations on campus this week. In its third year, the exercise is known as the Interdisciplinary Professional Event and provides a unique opportunity for students and faculty from different majors within the School of Health Sciences to collaboratively care for patients.

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Small-Group Discussions Reflect Big-Picture Import of Health Care Collaboration

Whit Worman, director of Penn College's physician assistant program, facilitates a discussion that includes Kyle G. Stavinski, an emergency medical services major from Elysburg (left) and physician assistant student Kevin Z. Richardson, of Williamsport.

Scott A. Geist (left foreground), director of the surgical technology program, and Cletus G. Waldman Jr. (right-center), clinical director of radiography, engage their roundtable participants.

Heather S. Dorman, clinical director of physician assistant, lays out a scenario during the interactive exercise.

Mark A. Trueman (center), director of paramedic technology programs at the college, follows the flowing conversation.

As part of an event that spanned northeastern and northcentral Pennsylvania and involved more than 1,000 students at various locations across the region, the sixth annual Collaborative Care Summit convened at Penn College on Wednesday. Nineteen dedicated  faculty/staff facilitators from a variety of health professions, including physicians, led discussions in the Bush Campus Center among students from several colleges and universities who are pursuing studies in a wide range of health disciplines. The Collaborative Care Summit is arranged by the Northeastern/Central Pennsylvania Interprofessional Education Coalition – of which Sharon K. Waters, associate dean of health sciences, is a member. Waters coordinated the Penn College event, and co-presented the opening session with Dr. Keith Shenberger, Susquehanna Health TCMC, which brought together about 100 students from Penn College, Lock Haven University, Wilkes University and The Commonwealth Medical College. The students participated in roundtable discussions of a medical case, learning from one another how each discipline contributes to a patient’s care. “The goal of interprofessional learning is to prepare all health professions students for deliberatively working together, with the goal of building a safer and better patient-centered and community-orientated health care system,” Waters explained. “It was impressive to hear what each student contributed to the interprofessional discussion and rewarding to know our students are being prepared to work  as a collaborative team toward quality patient care.” Student participants represented 10 professions, from paramedic to pharmacy to medicine to nursing. Simultaneous events were held in Scranton and Wilkes-Barre at Marywood University, The Commonwealth Medical College, The University of Scranton, Kings College and Misericordia University.

Health Sciences Students Talk Team Approach to Patient Care

Tushanna M. Habalar (right foreground), learning laboratory coordinator for nursing education, was among the facilitators for Friday's interdisciplinary exercise.

Students representing nearly all of the majors in the School of Health Sciences gathered in the Thompson Professional Development Center on Friday to learn from one another as they discussed their differing roles in a medical case. The “tabletop” Interdisciplinary Professional Event is designed to help Penn College students understand the perspectives and duties of others on a medical team in the interest of holistic treatment for their future patients. The school provides its students with a hands-on IPE in the spring, when actors simulate medical emergencies across campus.
Photo by Kim A. Speicher, dental hygiene instructor

Simulated Emergencies Help Students Hone Treatment-Team Roles

A crew deals with a kidney-stone attack in the Bush Campus Center TV lounge, preparing to transport the "patient" to the ATHS radiography lab.

An emergency response, as seen from overhead in the ATHS

A simulated angina patient, stricken in the dental hygiene clinic, talks with physician assistant and nursing students after transport to the ER.

Adam J. Miller, a Penn College instructional development specialist and pre-physician assistant student, captures a scenario on video.

Communication with the "injured"

To facilitate collaboration among various health disciplines, the School of Health Sciences staged a series of mock health emergencies on campus this week. Approximately 195 students from eight of the school’s programs – Dental Hygiene, Health Information Technology, Paramedic, Physician Assistant, Nursing, Occupational Therapy Assistant, Radiography and Surgical Technology – participated in the event as health professionals, actors and observers. The event presented an opportunity for the students to develop relationships with other health care students and a better understanding of their role. More than 50 faculty and staff members facilitated the event across three days.
Photos by Cletus G. Waldman, clinical director, radiography; and Kim A. Speicher, dental hygiene instructor

Annual Summit Spotlights Interdisciplinary Approach to Health Care

Shannon D. Synoracki, a Penn College physician assistant student, offers input.

Small-group facilitator Barbara J. Natell, director of Penn College’s Occupational Therapy Assistant Program, and Darren Mensch, a student from Wilkes University, listen to another student’s perspective.

Walt Eisenhauer (with mustache), program chair for Lock Haven University’s physician assistant program, leads a discussion.

Small-group discussion fills the air in the Bush Campus Center.

As part of an event that spanned northeastern and northcentral Pennsylvania and involved 805 students, the fifth annual Collaborative Care Summit convened at Penn College on Wednesday. Twenty-two facilitators from a variety of health professions, including physicians, led discussions in the Bush Campus Center among students from several colleges and universities who are pursuing studies in a wide range of health disciplines. The Collaborative Care Summit is arranged by the Northeastern/Central Pennsylvania Interprofessional Education Coalition – of which Sharon K. Waters, associate dean of health sciences, is a member. Waters facilitated the Penn College event, which brought together about 135 students from Penn College, Lock Haven University, Wilkes University, The Commonwealth Medical College and Marywood University. Dr. Keith Shenberger, of Susquehanna Health and The Commonwealth Medical College’s Williamsport Campus, co-presented both opening and closing presentations with Waters. The students participated in roundtable discussions of a medical case, learning from one another how each discipline contributes to a patient’s care. “The goal of interprofessional learning is to prepare all health-professions students for deliberatively working together, with the common goal of building a safer and better patient-centered and community/population-orientated U.S. health care system,” Waters explained. “It was so impressive to hear what each student contributed to the collaborative care interprofessional team approach in representing their respective health care discipline.” Student participants represented 15 professions, from dental hygiene to pharmacy to medicine to social work. Simultaneous events were held in Scranton and Wilkes-Barre at Marywood University, The Commonwealth Medical College, The University of Scranton, Kings College and Misericordia University.

Group Awards Scholarship to Health Information Student

Jessica A. Long

Jessica A. Long, a student in Pennsylvania College of Technology’s health information technology major, was named a 2013 Merit Scholarship recipient by the American Health Information Management Association Foundation.

Long, a sophomore from Shoemakersville, received the foundation’s Undergraduate Merit Scholarship.

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Returning Health Information Student Awarded Scholarship

Scholarship recipient Tiffany M. Farran, of Drums, with Daniel K. Christopher, department head for health information at Penn College. (Photo provided)

A recent Pennsylvania College of Technology graduate, who will continue studies toward a four-year degree in her chosen field, has been awarded a $1,000 scholarship from the Pennsylvania Health Information Management Association.

Tiffany M. Farran, of Drums, who received an associate degree in health information technology and a certificate in health information coding specialist during May commencement, was presented with the scholarship several days earlier during the PHIMA annual meeting at The Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel in State College.

Farran plans to obtain the national Registered Health Information Technician credential, and will be returning to Penn College in pursuit of a bachelor’s degree in health information management.

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Penn College Students Spruce Up Area Camp

Phi Mu Delta's Dustin C. Bailey, of Petersburg, enrolled in building science and sustainable design: architectural technology concentration, pitches in.

More than 40 Penn College students recently contributed their time to help Camp Victory prepare for the opening of its season. The Millville facility hosts several camps for children with special needs – including chronic health problems, mental or physical disabilities, or the aftermath of catastrophic illness – and ensures that the proper medical staff are on hand so that the youngsters’ needs are met during their stay. Students dedicated the afternoon of Saturday, April 20, to mulching, cleaning windows and general maintenance at the camp. A large contingent from the college’s Greek community took part; student organizations such as the Wildcat Events Board, Society of Manufacturing Engineers and the Health Information Association also lent their helping hands. More photos can be found at the student photographers’ blog.
Photo by Mitchell J. Berninger, an information technology: network specialist concentration major from Williamsport