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It takes a team: ISU health professions students participate in IPE Case Day

May 21, 2018

Photo of Case day event, patient being helped by two providers.
ISU faculty member Geoffrey Bennett serves as the patient during IPE Case Day. Left is physical therapy assistant Jamie Vanek and physical therapist Devin.

POCATELLO—More than 150 Idaho State University students, faculty and administrators participated in the Interprofessional Education Case Day Experience on April 26—an event organizers would like to expand to other campuses next year.

Held in the Beverly B. Bistline Thrust Theatre, IPE Case Day Experience gave students the opportunity to observe various stages of patient care during a simulated health care emergency.

The exercise was carried out in three scenes. In the first, an actor playing an ISU football player sustained a neck fracture. Athletic trainers and emergency medical technicians quickly rushed to his side and assessed the situation.

Scene two took place in a hospital emergency room where a medical team stabilized the patient and simulated diagnostic procedures, including a lateral c-spine X-ray. In the third scene, nurses and physical and occupational therapists developed a rehabilitation plan before releasing the patient to recuperate at home.  

“The exercise was an intriguing opportunity for students to see care in real time and to see it delivered interdisciplinarily,” said Darin Jernigan, a clinical assistant professor and director of rehabilitation programs for the College of Technology. After each scene, students were able to ask questions about diagnosis, treatment and communication protocols.

“What I took from it was a greater understanding of what the various disciplines do and the roles they play in patient care,” said Kim Evans, a student in the athletic training master’s program.

Emilio Guerrero, a student physical therapist assistant, said it was interesting to see the full process—from initial injury to hospital discharge. “I haven’t been able to observe other scopes of practice much, so seeing the importance of working together as a team to effectively treat the patient was really amazing,” he said.  

Dernigan and associate professors Dani Moffit and Deanna Dye received a $5,000 Campus Teaching and Innovation Grant from ISU Academic Affairs to organize the event. Moffit is director of the graduate athletic training program in the College of Education and Dye is the director of the physical therapy program in the Kasiska Division of Health Sciences.

Programs participating in IPE Case Day included physical therapy, physical therapist assistant, occupational therapy, occupational therapy assistant, nursing, radiographic sciences and athletic training.

Jernigan, who has taught at ISU for 16 years, says the event was so successful organizers hope to give health professions students in Meridian the opportunity to participate in similar events.

“The brainchild of this thing was to get departments to work together, to get students to work together in an event that would showcase a continuum of care,” he said.

Health science administrators and faculty say a focus on interprofessional education is becoming standard practice in the delivery of health science education at ISU.