Clinical Simulation goes to school

Published by Frank Ruggiero on

A group of health-care simulationists demonstrating CPR in a school library
From left, UAB Clinical Simulation’s Lisa Bergman, Emma Bertolaet and Andres Viles guide students through a hands-on CPR workshop during a recent career day at McAdory Middle School in McCalla, Ala.

Physicians, registered nurses, lab technicians, pharmacists and… middle-schoolers?

While UAB Clinical Simulation provides simulation opportunities to all members of the health-care team, six Clin Sim staff members recently found themselves presenting to a significantly younger audience.

On Feb. 8, Clinical Simulation joined numerous other UAB Medicine departments in a career day at McAdory Middle School in nearby McCalla, Ala.

“We are putting UAB Medicine on (students’) radar at an early age by presenting all the career paths that UAB Medicine has to offer,” said Sarah Rieder, lead recruiter with UAB Medicine Human Resources.

During the visit, Clinical Simulation staff members Lisa Bergman, Emma Bertolaet, Frank Ruggiero, Nicole Temple, Andres Viles and Ben Whitaker discussed simulation’s role in health care at UAB Medicine, before presenting a hands-on CPR workshop using manikins.

With the Clinical Simulation team’s guidance, students completed three rounds of CPR—first with manikins on tables, “so the students could get a feel for how difficult compressions are,” explained Bergman, director of procedural simulation.

The second round found students practicing compressions with the manikins on the ground, while the third and final round allowed the young learners to observe some real-time feedback.

“We had tablets to score the quality of their compressions,” Bergman said. “The kids loved doing the third round, since they were competing against one another.”

Health sciences teacher Teria Dawson, a registered nurse who formerly worked at Children’s of Alabama, helped facilitate the event.

“I cannot tell you how much they enjoyed the visit,” she said. “They’re already asking if UAB Medicine can come out every week.”

By participating in simulation, the students acquired knowledge, while developing their critical thinking and problem-solving skills, Dawson said.

“As their health sciences instructor, I believe in our students being equipped and exposed to every opportunity to help them be successful,” she said.

Approximately 150 students participated in the career day, taking part in sessions with various members of the UAB Medicine health-care team, including Samantha Abdullah, Sheanita Sledge and Catherine Carter from Perioperative Services at UAB Hospital-Highlands; Heidi Martin, director of Emergency Services at Highlands; Tamicka Jones, professional development specialist with Emergency Services; John Doriety, Mallory Shears and Benny Glaze with Critical Care Transport; Terri Franklin, Bailey Cato and Jessica Woods with radiology; and Keith Knight, Chris Green and Antony Hibbler with orthopedics/trauma.

“We hope the visit was very impactful in expanding their knowledge in the different areas that health care can provide,” Rieder said.

UAB Medicine’s Clinical Simulation program offers opportunities for individuals and teams across UAB Medicine and beyond to practice before they deliver care. We encourage all who provide and support patient care to “SimFirst.” Together, we can put our patients’ safety first.


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