Published on November 1, 2017 by Sarah Waller 

acute care simulation

The inaugural Interprofessional Acute Care Simulation, hosted by Samford University’s Experiential Learning and Simulation Center, tested students within the College of Health Sciences to use their knowledge and skills to not only care for their patients but to also work together as an interprofessional health care team. 

Spaces within the center, which spans 22,000-square-feet within the College of Health Sciences’ facilities, were converted to serve as units within a hospital, including emergency, medical-surgical, operating room, obstetrics, pediatrics, and intensive care units.   

The three-hour interprofessional education (IPE) simulation was run five times over the course of three days, allowing more than 300 undergraduate and graduate students to participate. These students represented ten programs from within the college’s four schools—School of Health Professions, Ida Moffett School of Nursing, McWhorter School of Pharmacy and School of Public Health

“With the Interprofessional Acute Care Simulation, we have students work through scenarios that are more commonplace in a clinical setting, and we make the different professions—from nurses to physical therapists, health care administrators to pharmacists—work together to provide the best possible care for their patients,” said Jill Pence, executive director of the Experiential Learning and Simulation Center. 

The simulation used health care manikins in the center’s high-fidelity suite as well as 27 standardized patients, or actors, who served as patients and family members. 

“Using standardized patients always adds a new dimension to a simulation,” Pence said. “We have advanced manikins, but no matter how advanced they are, they cannot mimic what a human does, especially in non-verbal and verbal communication. Standardize patients give students a realistic experience of what happens in the clinical setting, allowing the students to become immersed in the simulation.” 

While the Experiential Learning and Simulation Center hosts simulations regularly throughout the academic year, the Acute Care Simulation was the largest simulation to take place within the College of Health Sciences facilities. 

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.