Published on March 31, 2023 by Emily Naubert  
law nursing collab 2023

On March 14, Samford University’s Moffett & Sanders School of Nursing’s nurse anesthesia students teamed up with Cumberland School of Law externship students to participate in a simulation case, requiring collaboration from both disciplines.

The simulation provided a realistic scenario for law students to interview a nurse that had played a role in the care of a person injured at a local family fun center. The simulation included facts that indicated questionable decisions by the injured person and the medical facility.

The goal of the case was to provide the externship students with an opportunity to develop their skills of building rapport with potential witnesses while seeking factual information only the witness could offer.

Amy Snow, Moffett & Sanders’ director of clinical services, said, “Collectively, it is critical that both professions are astute in building rapport with clients to elicit valuable information via questioning. This skill takes practice and reflection, which is challenging to do in real life.” 

The law students gained firsthand experience in observing real-time reactions from the nurse-witnesses, allowing them to develop a better sense of when to press harder and what questions to ask.

Emily Davey, director of Cumberland’s Externship Program, said, “We want our students to be practice-ready when they graduate. That means being able to conduct a witness interview. This simulation allowed students the chance to gain practical experience in these types of interviews.”

The nurse anesthesia students gained an understanding of maintaining professionalism while being questioned and learning potential legal consequences of violating hospital policies or standards. 

“Through this simulation, both disciplines had the opportunity to learn aspects of this critical skill such as appropriate clarification, direct questions and effective communication skills,” said Snow.

The collaboration between Samford’s nurse anesthesia and law students proved to be a valuable learning experience where both disciplines learned from the interprofessional simulation, preparing them for their future careers.

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.