It was a case of life imitating life when students from the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine and the Jefferson College of Health Sciences came together for an Interprofessional Education Day Simulation activity on April 19, 2013. The annual event, held at Carilion Roanoke Community Hospital, allowed medical students and students in other health care professions to experience what it’s like to work as a team during a simulated emergency situation involving many patients with a variety of injuries.
This year’s simulation was a mock disaster involving an explosion with multiple injuries, including those to a suspected bomber. Ironically, while the simulation activity was taking place in Roanoke, a similar real-life event was playing out in Boston following two bombings at the Boston Marathon earlier that week. Even though the simulation event was planned well before the Boston bombings, it was a sobering reminder that seemingly unfathomable emergencies can happen anywhere and anytime.
During the event, students were grouped together and assigned a mock patient involved in the situation. The students caring for patients were not informed of the nature of the event until the activity began. They had to assess the situation and treat their patients as a team on the spot.
Goals of this simulation activity were to improve leadership skills and practice interprofessional collaboration.
Also participating were faculty members from both schools, as well as Carilion Clinic’s Pharmacy Department, Trauma Team, Lab Department, Emergency Department, Police Department, and Chaplain Services.
Written by Catherine Doss