On October 28, 19 students from advanced practice nursing, dental hygiene, dentistry, and pharmacy participated in a pilot interprofessional health assessment simulation.

The three-hour session involved two simulations: a table top simulation where students from each discipline collaborated to evaluate a teenager, and a standardized patient simulation where each discipline took a history independently and then had to communicate the assessment to their colleagues from other disciplines to develop a consensus plan.

“There was a consistent buzz in the air,” noted Alan Dow, M.D., M.S.H.A, director of the Center for Interprofessional Education and Collaborative at VCU. “The students really seemed to enjoy working with each other, and we were impressed with how well they did.”

School of nursing faculty members Debbie Shockey, DNP, RN, CPNP, clinical assistant professor; Pam Biernacki, DNP, DNP, FNP-C, clinical assistant professor; and Carla Nye, DNP, CPNP-BC, CNE, CHSE, associate professor and director of the Clinical Learning Center, were a part of the interprofessional development team.

“It was exciting to see how engaged the students were in the entire experience!” Nye said. “Our goal for this simulation was to increase collaboration across professions, and to socialize students into the strengths and knowledge of their professional peers.”

Students noted how much they gained from the experience. “I never realized all that pharmacists know,” said one dental hygiene student. “It really changed my perspective.”

Advanced practice nursing students who participated include Grace Miller, Jennifer McAdoo, Jeffery Petraco, Christina Lack, and Sarah Ameen.

Based on the success of this pilot, faculty plan to expand the simulation to all 330 students from these disciplines next academic year.

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Categories Education, Events, Faculty and Staff, Students
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