Interdisciplinary Health Science Simulation Center: Benefits and Challenges

Interdisciplinary Health Science Simulation Center: Benefits and Challenges

Tammy Frankland (Casper College, USA) and David Bodily (Casper College, USA)
Copyright: © 2015 |Pages: 15
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-8481-2.ch012
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Abstract

The purpose of this chapter is to describe the benefits and challenges associated with creating an interdisciplinary simulation center for eight allied health programs (athletic training, medical laboratory technician, nursing, occupational therapy assistant, paramedic technology, pharmacy technician, radiography, and respiratory therapy) at a two-year college. Planning, securing resources, developing and implementing curricula, training faculty, orienting students, preliminary survey data, and plans for sustainability will be shared.
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Introduction

The literature on leadership about American community colleges reveals that campus leaders must carry out their work in an environment that is becoming increasingly demanding. These administrators must attempt to resolve significant contradictions in the missions and purposes of their institutions (Ayers, 2009). The traditional commitments to college transfer and occupational education pose fundamental challenges to administrators seeking to satisfy two very different external constituencies--four year colleges and employers. Additionally, although community colleges have experienced significant enrollment growth and modest funding growth, direct aid for students has not kept up with need, and public two-year institutions are enrolling a population that must rely more on higher education than ever before in order to maintain an adequate standard of living (Kennamer, Katsinas, Hardy, & Roessler, 2010). These changes have occurred while community colleges are also experiencing calls for greater formal and informal accountability (Harbour & Nagy, 2005) that include a national completion agenda (Complete College America, 2014) adopted by states including Wyoming. Complete College America is setting the stage to encourage greater course and degree completions in less time and with fewer credit hours; the Complete College Wyoming team plans to include course and degree completion as a potential funding matrix for the Wyoming Community College Commission. This environment places campus leaders in situations where they are often called upon to serve a student body challenged economically and academically and to manage significant institutional change under challenging conditions. One way to address these challenges is to create opportunities for faculty and students to collaborate and create meaningful learning activities across disciplines. More specifically leaders should envision ways to enhance, deepen, and connect faculty development with student learning.

The purpose of this chapter is to describe the benefits and challenges associated with creating an interdisciplinary simulation center for eight allied health programs (athletic training, medical laboratory technician, nursing, occupational therapy assistant, paramedic technology, pharmacy technician, radiography, and respiratory therapy) at a two-year college. Planning, securing resources, developing and implementing curricula, training faculty, orienting students, preliminary survey data, and plans for sustainability will be shared. Narratives from the co-authors, a health science dean and a simulation center program director, respectively, will provide observations and lessons learned for leaders and faculty who desire to embed inter-professional simulation activities into existing health science curricula. Additional qualitative data from student and faculty surveys will give further perspectives about the benefits and challenges experienced during and after simulation activities that were either limited to one discipline or interdisciplinary. The chapter will provide community college leaders with practical strategies to engage faculty and students in a collaborative process that responds to employer and patient needs. Skilled allied health professionals who understand the broader implications of their role and the interdependence of the health care team will be better prepared to provide and potentially improve patient care and outcomes.

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