Pharmacy Students Get Dose of Reality

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Sixty-six North Dakota State pharmacy students and over 70 University of North Dakota medical students participated in exercises at the Simulation Center at UND April 9.

The event helped fulfill part of the Healthcare Workforce Initiative put forth by the state legislature, which asks NDSU and UND to work toward integrating and sustaining students in health professions.

The pharmacy students that participated had access to the largest working simulation center in North Dakota.

Marketa Marvanova, associate professor of pharmacy at NDSU, served as one of the coordinators alongside the Simulation Center’s director, Dr. Jon Allen.

Marvanova said she wanted to know that her junior pharmacy students “can provide interpretational care” alongside the medical students at UND.

“When you are working in the hospitals or in the clinics or even in the communities, there needs to be communication and collaboration with different health professions,” Marvanova Said.

Pharmacists, and other health care professionals, don’t work alone, and according to Marvanova there is a large push for a team approach to helping patients.

The simulation students faced was an emergency situation. According to Marvanova, students were given an unconscious patient and were told to work together to come up with the best course of action and treatment plan.

Marvanova said one of the focal points of the exercise was to see how the teams communicated and how effective this communication was during the interdisciplinary simulation.

Marvanova said she had a hand in designing the simulations.

According to Marvanova, the simulated environment was very close to a real emergency room. The ‘patients’ were given a “high fidelity mannequin … who can have all the vitals” of a regular patient, Marvanova said.

The mannequins have blood pressure, heart rate and even dilating pupils, according to Marvanova.

The simulation was supposed to get students “team and practice ready,” Marvanova said.

The students got to practice real life scenarios without the real life risks of a real emergency room, Marvanova said. This could also benefit students who might not have the chance to do a rotation at an actual ER.

Marvanova said she has not collected enough responses from students, but from what she has seen the event was “well received” by the students that participated.

The pharmacy students were happy to be exposed to the teamwork involved in hospital work, and the medical students responded positively to being shown the role that pharmacists have in their line of work.

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