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Interprofessional COPD Simulation

With Spring break in the not too distant past, many of us can recall the travel that we completed. Welcome back to reality and school.  The IISC helped support a trip of a different kind on March 29.  Through the hard work of two UT Clinical Nurse Leader students ( Marissa Phillips and Jennings Smith ) an interdisciplinary training session “trip” was completed that took participants from nursing, medical student, physician assistant, pharmacy, and physical therapy through an interactive learning roadmap of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). 

The session consisted of a short didactic session, followed by an interactive 3-D “trip” that took participants “flying” through a normal and abnormal (COPD) airway.  With the immersive technology, students were able to see firsthand (and larger than life) the effects of COPD on the upper airway and lungs. With 3-D glasses donned one participant was heard to say, “Walt Disney couldn’t have done it any better.”

Last, the participants took care of a “patient”, in the Virtual Hospital environment, who was experiencing a COPD exacerbation.  The students had to respond to the crisis while drawing on the knowledge of their interdisciplinary peers. Like any good trip, planning, communication, and collaboration of all members is key to the success. This event was the first of many interdisciplinary training sessions to come. We are all in the same journey of life-long learning and discovering new avenues to work together, communicate more effectively and increase patient safety.

4 Responses to “Interprofessional COPD Simulation”

  1. Cynthia Williams Says:

    Hello all!
    I was one of the students who participated in the simulation event and I would like to share some of the experience from the student perspective. Mr. Stobbe did a great job of explaining how the event was set up and the tools they used were just incredible. Now I had learned all about COPD in my pharmacy coursework but until you see such a detailed view of a diseased lung set right next to a normal lung you do not really appreciate the extent of damage that has occurred in patients with this disease! You could see very clearly all the anatomic changes that take place: changes in the shape of the lung, an increase in dead space, everything! The 3-D Avatar-style fly-through of the respiratory system in both a normal patient and a patient with COPD was also very informative. You could clearly see all the changes in tissue and the obstruction these patients experience.
    The interprofessional simulation was certainly my favorite part though. We were divided into two interdisciplinary teams that worked together to run a simulation where we treated a “patient.” Most of us had never met prior to this simulation and some had never really interacted with students of the other disciplines represented so we were able to take some time to acquaint ourselves and learn each other’s roles and scopes of practice. Then we threw ourselves into the simulation scenario! Our patient presented with your classic symptom of shortness of breath, he had a history of congestive heart failure, he was hypoxemic, and soon after we assessed him he began to deteriorate. If you have never run a simulation before, you may not understand, but this became a very tense and stressful situation very quickly. Our patient was dying and we were essentially walking out of the classroom and now trying to successfully treat a “real” person in a “real” setting. That’s a lot of pressure!
    Now, as a pharmacy student it is naturally my job to handle the pharmacotherapy, make recommendations, etc. I perform pretty well in school and I like to think that I know my stuff when it comes to COPD meds considering there are not a ton of them, but when you are thrown into a situation like this you quickly forget even the most simple things at times and at other times you surprise yourself with the stuff you actually do know. Eventually, our patient’s condition did deteriorate so much that he died. In running the simulation, I realized that I only have one year of coursework left and then I will be out in hospitals and clinics on rotations actually caring for patients who have more complex problems and require much more attention.

    However, when they die, they do not have a ‘reboot’ button.

    I saw, right then, the value of running interprofessional simulations and learning to work together as a team and I fully intend to continue to participate in these simulations so when I go on rotations I will be able to function effectively and efficiently on a team. Had my team been able to communicate better we would have probably been much more successful in treating that ‘patient.’ If you have not yet had the opportunity to check out all that the IISC has to offer, do not waste any more time and head to the basement of the Collier Building. The simulators they offer without a doubt will make our students better healthcare practitioners and greatly improve our ability to bring about positive outcomes for our patients through our ability to work together.

  2. Karen Says:

    I am a R.N., female, 54 y/o. I had to go on disability due to my severe COPD. I did continue working for a while after I had to start using O2. It just got too hard carrying the tank around on my back. I just want to say I have been dearly disgusted with medical professionals, including M.D’s and nurses. When they walk in your room covered in perfumes and body lotions can be devastating to some one with COPD. The only way I can describe it, is like taking a vacuum cleaner and sucking my breath out. The same goes with having a roommate with lotions and such or visitors. Another big culprit it flowers. So I hope people really think about. I was hospitalized with an exacerbation and almost had another due too the above. I know when I was in nursing school if some one had any cologne on they were sent home. I just wish people would use critical thinking just a little better.

  3. Pam Boyers Says:

    Karen- thank you for responding and for offering important insights regarding your experiences as a professional and as a patient. I am confident that our staff in the IISC will incorporate your concerns into the training of out health professionals in the COPD scenarios. Your comment points out a learning need for heightened sensitivity about perfumes, body lotions and flowers and their impact on the overall health of the person with COPD. Thank you again

  4. Nelson134 Says:

    The IISC helped support a trip of a different kind on March 29. Through the hard work of two UT Clinical Nurse Leader students ( Marissa Phillips and Jennings Smith ) an interdisciplinary training session “trip” was completed that took participants from nursing, medical student, physician assistant, pharmacy, and physical therapy through an interactive learning roadmap of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).

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About the IISC

The University of Toledo is creating a new paradigm that will transform how health care professionals are educated.

The Interprofessional Immersive Simulation Center (IISC) will drive innovation in learning, clinical practice and research through the creation of a learning environment that incorporates advanced simulation models and virtual immersive technology.

Rapid changes occurring in national and global health care demand that the education of health care professionals must undergo transformation to ensure patients continue to receive the safest and highest quality treatment. The IISC will position The University of Toledo as a world leader in educating the health care practitioners of tomorrow.

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