Academic Departments Collaborate for Enhanced Learning Opportunities

Athletic training students hone their skills in the High Fidelity Simulation Center, learning to care for patients and treat a variety of unique medical situations. Photo credit: Scott L. Huck/Cedarville University

Athletic training students hone their skills in the High Fidelity Simulation Center, learning to care for patients and treat a variety of unique medical situations. Photo credit: Scott L. Huck/Cedarville University

by Katherine Meakem, Public Relations Writer

November 20, 2013

The Cedarville University School of Nursing is collaborating with the athletic training program to provide athletic training students with experience in the University’s High Fidelity Simulation Center.

The technology includes 22 mid-fidelity mannequins and four high-fidelity mannequins owned by the school of nursing and one high-fidelity mannequin owned by the school of pharmacy. The high-fidelity mannequins can simulate a variety of medical complications including cardiac and respiratory problems, seizures and strokes. When activated, they can blink, cry, sweat and have a pulse. From the control room, professors running the session can be the mannequin’s voice and control its medical responses to various treatments and medications. 

According to Mike Weller, assistant professor of athletic training and athletic training education program director, having access to the simulation center is unique for an athletic training program. “Cedarville’s athletic training program is one of a few with access to such a high level of simulation technology,” he said.

Faculty members from the school of nursing and the athletic training program began discussing the possibility of collaboration in the fall of 2012. The idea continued to take shape as Connie Ford, F.N.P., associate professor of nursing, and Karen Callan, director of nursing laboratory programs and facilities, taught Weller how to use the high-fidelity mannequins. Soon after, the school of nursing began allowing Weller and a class of athletic training students to spend time in the simulation center each week. This unique collaboration between the two departments has continued this year. 

Weller is grateful for the opportunity to work with the nursing department to better prepare his students. “Our athletic training students get to practice things that most others have to do online or watching a recording,” he said.

Working with the mannequins gives both nursing and athletic training students an opportunity to gain exposure to unique situations that cannot be practiced on live patients. “These mannequins are designed to simulate almost every aspect of patient care, preparing students for realistic emergency scenarios in a safe environment,” said Weller.

The simulation technology has remarkable capabilities, providing students outstanding preparation for patient care. But according to Callan, the technology leads to critical discussions between faculty and students. “The most amazing aspect of the technology is the application students take away after debriefing each session in the stimulation center,” she said. 

Looking to the future, Callan shared that the nursing department is open to continuing collaborating efforts with other departments.

Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University attracts 3,400 undergraduate, graduate and online students to more than 100 areas of study. Inspiring greatness for over 125 years, Cedarville is a Christ-centered learning community recognized nationally for rigorous academic programs, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings and leading student satisfaction ratings. Visit the University online at www.cedarville.edu.