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Fictitious Patient Teaches Real-Life Lesson on Teamwork

Jessica L. Bower, simulation laboratory coordinator in nursing, gathers students onstage in the Academic Center Auditorium for a debriefing.
Jessica L. Bower, simulation laboratory coordinator in nursing, gathers students onstage in the Academic Center Auditorium for a debriefing.
Students representing various majors talk through a patient’s case with Tushanna M. Habalar, instructor of nursing (in gray sweater).
Students representing various majors talk through a patient’s case with Tushanna M. Habalar, instructor of nursing (in gray sweater).
Michelle A. Walczak, associate professor of nursing, asks students to consider the patient’s emotions as first responders arrive.
Michelle A. Walczak, associate professor of nursing, asks students to consider the patient’s emotions as first responders arrive.
Nursing students listen to the outlook of peers in other health disciplines.
Nursing students listen to the outlook of peers in other health disciplines.

The School of Health Sciences held the first of two Interdisciplinary Professional Experiences of the year for Penn College students on Nov. 20, involving more than 100 students from four academic programs in a case study that helped them think through a patient’s health care experience through the eyes of other professionals – as well as the patient. The students gathered in small groups – with at least one representative from each of the involved programs on every team – to discuss the fictional case of “Mrs. Smith,” a busy working mom whose vehicle crashes when she experiences an apparent stroke. Students talked through the role of each medical provider who will encounter the patient and what information each professional needs from the others. “The main focus is communication,” said Jessica L. Bower, simulation laboratory coordinator in nursing, who helped to facilitate the event. In the spring, the School of Health Sciences will hold a hands-on IPE event, using actors to simulate patients with emergency health concerns.