A patient is rushed back to the hospital four weeks after hip surgery following a fall. This time, he is admitted for a stage II pressure ulcer. For this visit, his health care team calls in a dietitian. Why is a dietitian involved in the case of an orthopedic patient with pressure sores? His diet and other medical conditions explain why: the patient has a host of diseases including diabetes, COPD, congestive heart failure, cardiomyopathy, hypertension, chronic kidney disease and sleep apnea.
This scenario is the latest in a joint simulation exercise between units in the Lewis School. In this simulation, nursing students performed the initial assessments, consulted with the hip patient's doctors, and administered medications while nutrition students created the most appropriate diet for the patient and educated the patient and his wife on nutrition. Education was recommended after the patient's wife was caught bringing fast food to her husband to supplement his hospital diet.
Simulation exercises are a growing part of the Lewis School laboratory curriculum.
"One of the advantages of simulation and the use of technology is providing realistic clinical experiences without risk to patients and learners," says Cathy McCarroll, clinical instructor of nutrition. McCarroll, along with other nursing and nutrition faculty led the students through the interdisciplinary simulation.
"In this simulation, nursing and nutrition students have the opportunity to learn about the specialty role of the other profession in an acute care setting. This helps prepare our nursing students for the real world where there is not enough time for the nurse to do everything for the patient and family," says Teresa Bates, clinical instructor of nursing.