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ATSU-KCOM’s annual simulation challenge promotes interprofessional teamwork among students

A.T. Still University’s Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine (ATSU-KCOM) Clinical Simulation Club held its third annual simulation challenge at ATSU’s Drabing Human Patient Simulation Center on April 15, 2023.

Five teams consisting of first- and second-year osteopathic medical students, along with Truman State University nursing students, participated in the challenge, which consisted of five rounds of patient simulation cases with different difficulty levels.

Lisa Archer, RN, BSN, director of simulation and performance assessment, and Eric Lesh, DO, ’18, assistant professor, family medicine, are the club’s faculty advisors and worked with students both in preparation for and during the challenge. 

“Students actually created the cases. They’ve got to be based on current standards of care, clinic protocols, and the latest literature, and they show those to Dr. Lesh and get his feedback and see if they’re approved before they move forward to the actual challenge,” Archer said. “So it’s another level of involvement with the simulation center, they get to program it.”

The first four rounds consisted of a thyroid toxicity case, a pediatric dehydration case, a precipitous newborn delivery case, and a drive-by shooting case, which took place in the simulation center’s immersion room.

By the championship round, only two teams remained, and in the end, only one team would complete the simulation by correctly diagnosing the final case as purulent pericarditis, a rare infection of the pericardial space.

The championship winners included ATSU-KCOM students Erin Martin, OMS I, Alaina Henry, OMS I, Maggie McCarthy, OMS II, Jacob Ayers, OMS I, and Truman State University students Kristen Chavana and Namuna Sunar. 

“They had to really rely on each other for their team experience and their strengths and weaknesses. They had to figure that out, that was all part of the team dynamics, working together as a team, recognizing each other’s strengths, and then actually listening and valuing what they said. We’re really working hard on that across the board for all of our simulations, even outside of this sim challenge,” Archer said. 

“Students need to understand that they’re not solo clinicians. They need to understand they’re surrounded by a team and each individual brings a different level of experience and expertise,” she added. “The interprofessional piece of it is exciting for me, because that’s kind of my heart, making sure that we’re blending our students with other disciplines.”

Archer hopes to continue to incorporate interprofessional collaboration into activities at the Drabing Human Patient Simulation Center, and is looking forward to even more teamwork, and of course more fun, at next year’s challenge.

The winning team poses for a photo after the challenge. Back row, left to right: Erin Martin, OMS I, Kristen Chavana, Maggie McCarthy, OMS II; front row, left to right: Namuna Sunar, Alaina Henry, OMS I, Jacob Ayers, OMS I.


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