The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) define interdisciplinary education as, "An educational approach in which two or more disciplines collaborate in the learning process with the goal of fostering Interprofessional interactions that enhance the practice of each discipline. Such interdisciplinary education is based on mutual understanding and respect for the actual and potential contributions of the disciplines" (AACN, 2016).
Stanly Community College's (SCC) Allied Health Signature Campus in Locust, NC, utilized the Simulation Hospital to provide students with a four-discipline simulation lab on April 5, 2016. Thirty-one Nursing, 15 Respiratory Therapy, 9 Radiography, and 8 Pharmacy Technician senior students were involved in this experience. Five different patient scenarios were conducted at one time while students from each discipline worked together to provide care for the patients. These scenarios were repeated for each group of students throughout the day so they all experienced the same interdisciplinary simulation scenarios and attended a debriefing following the experience.
Scenarios included; a patient in the emergency department suffered severe facial burns and inhalation injuries and needed to be stabilized and transferred; one Intensive Care Unit (ICU) patient had chest pain that turned into a Code Blue situation; another ICU patient was stable postoperatively on a ventilator; one Medical patient had suffered a stroke and needed medications to reduce the damage of the clot; another Medical patient sustained a C6 neck fracture and was paralysed. Each scenario required skills and knowledge in the areas of nursing, respiratory therapy, pharmacy, and radiography in order to provide care to the patient.
"What a great learning experience for all of our students!" commented Blair Whitley, RN, MSN and Second Level Course Coordinator in the Nursing Program at Stanly Community College. "This is a great way for the students to learn the values of interdisciplinary responsibilities and teamwork."
The Allied Health Signature Campus gives students the opportunity to graduate from programs that have an above average graduation rate and are above the national average for licensure pass rates. Nearly 100% of the Allied Health students are employed within six months of graduation and enter the workforce with a certification or licensure in their chosen healthcare profession.
Nursing and Respiratory students work together to provide CPR on a patient that went from chest pain to a Code Blue situation. Pharmacy provided the medications for the Code Blue and Radiography had to complete a chest x-ray to verify placement of the breathing tube.
Pharmacy Technology students are preparing TPA, a drug used to dissolve a clot in a patient that suffered a stroke. While these students prepare IV medications, others are verifying and filling orders needed throughout the hospital.
A Radiography student is preparing the patient for an x-ray on his right arm due to complaints of pain from a fall.