As part of a quality improvement project for the WCC Health Sciences Division, a “Mock Code” was conducted on March 29 at Herring Hall. The “Mock Code” was geared to introduce the concept of Interprofessional Education (IPE) among several disciplines in the division.

According to the World Health Organization, IPE occurs when students from two or more professions learn about, from, and with each other to enable effective collaboration and improve health outcomes. The departments included were Dental Assisting, Emergency Medical Science (EMS), Nursing, Radiography, and Respiratory Therapy. Varying components of simulation were utilized, and Dr. Brescia, the Medical Director of the Respiratory Therapy program, acted as the attending physician.

The IPE Event started in the dental lab with a “patient” becoming unresponsive after not feeling well in the dental chair. The dental students initiated the emergency response system and EMS students were dispatched. The dental students began CPR and continued until the EMS students arrived. The EMS students, acting as first responders and paramedics, placed a King airway, leads, and an IO and stabilized the patient for transport. The patient was then transferred to the second floor of Herring Hall for a simulated ride in the WCC ambulance and admittance to the mock emergency department (ED) of the “WCC Memorial Hospital.”

CPR was continued in the ED by the Respiratory students. The patient had to be “shocked” for resuscitation. Nursing students also placed an IV, pushed meds, and acted as a recorder. The Respiratory students removed the King airway and reintubated the patient, obtained an arterial blood gas, and placed the patient on mechanical ventilation. The Radiography students were called to obtain a chest x-ray to confirm proper tube placement.

Dr. Brescia, who is a Critical Care Specialist and Pulmonologist, directed the students throughout the event. Even though an outline of the scenario was prepared in advance, the team had decided not to script the event, but to allow Dr. Brescia the freedom to direct the students based on their responses.

The students who were not actively participating were able to view the live session once the patient arrived in the ED. Debriefing was done immediately following the event to allow students the opportunity to discuss the event. The goals of the IPE event were to demonstrate teamwork; promote understanding of the roles and responsibilities of self and other members of the interdisciplinary team; and to practice communication (including listening), critical thinking, and values and ethics. The students were encouraged to complete a pre and post IPE event survey to help measure the effects of these outcomes and will be used to plan future events.

The members of the IPE team are Vickie Bell, IPE event coordinator; Billy Woods, dean of Health Science & director of Respiratory Therapy; Jennifer Hastings director of Dental Assisting; Emily Orr-Merritt, director of Nursing; Randall Westmoreland, director of EMS; Donna Greene, simulation coordinator; Mike Wingler, vice president of IT; and Stacee Whitley, administrative assistant.

Students from Dental Assisting, Emergency Medical Services, Nursing, Radiography, Respiratory, and Dr. Don Brescia, medical director for the Respiratory Therapy program who served as the emergency department physician in the scenario.