A Competition for Cooperation and Learning
Volume 35 Number 2 | April 2021
Lisa Hochstein, MS, MLS(ASCP)CM, ASCLS Region I Director
Inter-professional education has become increasingly popular in the health science professions. It is important that students in these professions learn with and about each other. Introducing these students to inter-professional education early on will enable them to work cooperatively when they begin their careers.
With this in mind, the health science professions at St. John’s University College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, including pharmacy, physician assistant, clinical laboratory sciences, radiologic sciences, and paramedics, created an inter-professional event with students in their respective professional year(s) of study. And “Sim Wars” was born! This competition was held in mid-January just before the start of the 2020 spring semester.
In preparation for the competition, the students attended a “Get to Know You” day earlier in January, during which participants from each of the five professions got to know each other and described to each other their roles and responsibilities in healthcare. The students engaged in several hands-on activities related to each profession, such as learning about taking X-rays from radiologic sciences students, analyzing data with the students from the clinical laboratory sciences program, practicing procedures with the physician assistant students, touring an ambulance with the paramedic students, and sharing information about pharmaceutical work with pharmacy students. Students, with faculty as facilitators, reviewed the aspects of the case selected for the competition and their respective roles during the simulation. Students also developed “props” that they would need on the competition day.
During this session, students really learned about each other. The clinical laboratory sciences students were surprised that other students did not know anything about their profession. They enjoyed the chance to tell the other students exactly what their profession did and how it impacted healthcare. For each of them it was an “aha” moment.
The actual competition consisted of three teams that included two participants from each of the health science professions. A medical case about a patient with pneumonia and sepsis was simulated on a full body simulator. Participants were judged on their ability to utilize teamwork skills, communication, and clinical decisions for patient care. They were also judged on their ability to interact utilizing their specific clinical expertise.
On the day of the competition, after each team had completed their case presentation, they were judged according to a scoring rubric. Judges consisted of college faculty and alumni. The team with the highest score was declared the winner. Winners and judges all received medals. Students participating received certificates of appreciation and a small token of appreciation from the college. All of the students enjoyed this opportunity to learn about and work with other professions and felt it contributed to their education.
Lisa Hochstein is Associate Professor and Director of the Clinical Laboratory Sciences Program at St. John’s University in Queens, New York.
St. John’s University College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences students participated in “Sim Wars,” an inter-professional education competition to teach them about the different health science professions and enable them to work cooperatively.
For the competition, a medical case about a patient with pneumonia and sepsis was simulated on a full body simulator. Participants were judged on their ability to utilize teamwork skills, communication, and clinical decisions for patient care.
“The clinical laboratory sciences students… enjoyed the chance to tell the other students exactly what their profession did and how it impacted healthcare.”