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Informing curriculum: Instructors offer emergency skills day

May 14, 2019

students performing exercise

Photo: Students practice CPR during emergency skills workshop

Part-time instructor Adrienne Seabrooke recently designed an “Emergency Skills Day” for students in their final year of the BScN program. She recruited fellow part-time instructors Vanessa Cavalieri and Heather Burnside to facilitate various aspects of critical nursing practice related to emergency care.

The teaching team offered the workshop to twenty students, once approved by Joanna Pierazzo, assistant dean, undergraduate nursing programs. “I was interested in a model of emergency skills’ teaching that could be utilized in level 4 of the BScN curriculum. When Adrienne brought this idea to me, I considered this an important pilot to inform future development in the final year of the BScN program,” says Pierazzo.

“Our objective was to facilitate a safe transition into critical practice,” says Seabrooke. “During this session, we discussed and/or demonstrated the roles of the health care team, appropriate responses, practical advice, decision-making/critical thinking, and real-world examples. The session started off with the facilitators demonstrating a successful ‘Mega’ Code Blue. The students were then split into groups and rotated between 3 stations. These included management of a deteriorating patient, CPR, bag valve mask and closed loop communication skills, and Code Blue. We ended with a short presentation about the importance of being aware of the emotional stress that often occurs when working in acute settings.”

Alida Bowman is the Level 4 faculty lead. “The workshop was an excellent opportunity for level 4 students to practice their skills in a simulated environment with peers and expert faculty educators,” says Bowman.

According to Seabrooke, “Many nursing new graduates choose to begin their careers in acute/critical environments such as the emergency department but often feel anxious when they first graduate.” The hope is that workshops like these will give new graduates more confidence in their ability to participate in acute situations.

Dr. Ruth Chen is the assistant dean, academic resources & department education coordinator (DEC). “The School of Nursing is fortunate to have committed part-time instructors like Adrienne, Vanessa, and Heather. They demonstrate such creativity and excellence in clinical teaching, and these learning opportunities support our students’ transition to future practice,” says Chen.

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