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PA and MD students join together to learn respiratory care

First-year PA students from the Boone and Winston-Salem campuses and second-year MD students at Wake Forest School of Medicine collaborated in October to learn respiratory care skills in the new simulation center at the Bowman Gray Center for Medical Education in Winston-Salem. The MD program routinely uses simulation events to expose students to basic clinical skills. “When you’re entering the clinical setting as an early learner, it’s hard to focus on learning about patient care when there are so many new things in your environment that you’ve never been exposed to, especially medical equipment,” says Dr. Jenn Jackson, MD, Associate Professor of Pediatrics and one of the coordinators of this event.

Respiratory therapists from Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center served as the lead instructors during this simulation-based training event, which used standardized patients, task trainers, and high-fidelity mannequins in multiple simulated medical environments to teach students about establishing emergency airway access, setting up bedside oxygen delivery and suction devices, and administering inhaled medications and incentive spirometry. Respiratory therapists encouraged students with prior experience establishing emergency airway access to share their experiences in small groups of PA and MD students.

Putting respiratory therapists, MD students, and PA students together in the same learning activity gave these students an opportunity to learn the scope of practice of the professionals they will soon be working with during their clinical training, which begins in 2017 for both cohorts. Dr. Jackson states, “Effective teamwork is an essential skill set for all health care professionals. If you can’t interact effectively as a team, you will not be able to effectively take care of your patients.”

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This event was made possible by the Duke Endowment, which provided funding to Wake Forest School of Medicine for interprofessional education, patient safety, and simulation-based training activities. Faculty from across Wake Forest School of Medicine training programs are developing additional interprofessional events for the upcoming academic year. [written by Alyssa Murray, Class of 2018, and Jennifer Jackson, MD]



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