Carolinas HealthCare System
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Students at Carolinas College of Health Sciences Participate in Simulation Training Event
Nursing students learned why and how imaging professionals conduct a diagnostic imaging exam at the simulation event.

Carolinas College of Health Sciences students are continuously encouraged to enhance their skills and to practice at the top of their scope. In July, CCHS held a one-day interdisciplinary event for students specializing in radiologic technology and in nursing.

The college partnered with the Carolinas Simulation Center and with the Children’s Miracle Network to create a simulated event, focused on the patient experience, that brought together the skills of students, faculty, actors, emergency room physicians and high tech simulators. Using this interdisciplinary approach, students learned all aspects of pediatric imaging and how each provider role, when coordinated, can provide the best care for a patient.

“Skill optimization has been a big focus of ours this year as we see this being the wave of the future in medical education,” said Ellen Sheppard, Ed.D, president of Carolinas College of Health Sciences, a top-ranked college in the nation. “We want our initiatives and the outstanding work of our students to tell the story of what we’re trying to do in this space.”

During the training, a high tech mannequin was used to simulate a pediatric patient with suspected appendicitis. Nursing and radiologic technology students were involved in preparing the “patient,” administering of test and providing post care, just as if they were in a real emergency situation. From this experience, the nursing and radiological technology students were able to see how both roles support the patient and complement one another throughout the examination, as well as giving the students a greater appreciation for the patient’s full experience.

“The nursing students learned why and how imaging professionals conduct a diagnostic imaging exam,” said Michele Pfaff, a nursing faculty member. “Now they have a greater understanding of how their nursing role supports and sustains the patient through the test.”

During the simulation, other students were able to watch a live simulcast of the simulation from an adjoining classroom, complete with the sights, sounds, and “patient” vital signs displayed on a wall-sized screen. After the simulations, Dr. Mark Bullard, Carolinas Medical Center Emergency Department physician, led participants in a debriefing session that allowed students to critique the simulations, engage with one another, and discuss discipline-specific challenge. The students rated the experience favorably, 4.23 out of a possible 5.0, making it a great success.