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Emergency Scenarios Aid Students’ Real-Life Readiness


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.

A team of health sciences students gains insight in the X-ray lab from radiography students and Regis C. Kohler, associate professor of radiography (with mustache).
A team of health sciences students gains insight in the X-ray lab from radiography students and Regis C. Kohler, associate professor of radiography (with mustache).
Nicole E. Smith, a student in applied health studies: radiography concentration, adjusts the X-ray table for her “patient.”
Nicole E. Smith, a student in applied health studies: radiography concentration, adjusts the X-ray table for her “patient.”

Scenarios began as actors played the role of patients experiencing an emergency health issue. Student teams comprising various majors then observed one another’s role as they followed the patient through the health care system, from the site of the emergency, to the emergency room, and radiography and surgery, according to doctors’ orders.

“Students actively communicated with each other, shared their program knowledge and experience, clarified their unique health care roles, and demonstrated respect for each other,” said Tushanna M. Habalar, learning laboratory coordinator for nursing education and a key organizer for the event.

Dental hygiene students must react to a “patient,” played by Jeanne M. Kerschner, clinical director of occupational therapy assistant, who experienced “acute psychological needs.” (Photo by Kim A. Speicher, dental hygiene instructor)
Dental hygiene students must react to a “patient,” played by Jeanne M. Kerschner, clinical director of occupational therapy assistant, who experienced “acute psychological needs.” (Photo by Kim A. Speicher, dental hygiene instructor)
Nursing student Felicia R. Kropp, of Williamsport, assists “patient” Jordan E. Brininger, a nursing student from Winfield.
Nursing student Felicia R. Kropp, of Williamsport, assists “patient” Jordan E. Brininger, a nursing student from Winfield.

“It was a really good experience interacting with different health care professions,” said Morgan A. Atherton, of Newburg, who is enrolled in dental hygiene: health policy and administration concentration. The dental hygiene clinic was among the sites where “patients” fell ill. “I was glad to have had this great learning opportunity, which will help me in my future career – especially when encountering emergency situations and the handling of them.”

“Faculty from all the health sciences programs applaud the students for putting forth an excellent effort during the scenario simulations,” Habalar said. “As a representative for the IPE, I speak on behalf of all our facilitators when I say we are very proud of our students for working together so well.”

Emergency medical services students arrive on-scene to help a patient in the dental hygiene clinic, as other students observe their work. (Photo by Kim A. Speicher, dental hygiene instructor)
Emergency medical services students arrive on-scene to help a patient in the dental hygiene clinic, as other students observe their work. (Photo by Kim A. Speicher, dental hygiene instructor)

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