New River CTC Allied Health Programs simulation prepares students for real-world events

It’s an opportunity for students to practice their skills in a high pressure, high stakes learning environment where they don’t get to prepare.. and face the case just like they would in an emergency room.

“A chance for them to learn how to communicate not just with their peers but with students in other disciplines and give them an appreciation for what each discipline’s role is in the scenario,” said Angela Strickland, interim dean of pre-professional & transfer programs at New River Community and Technical College.

Students worked together in a simulation exercise at a fictional ‘New River General Hospital’ to diagnose and prepare them for a real-life scenario.

The students also got to hone their soft skills.

“Practicing our communication and practicing that pass-off between disciplines, everybody has different roles but they’re focused on the same thing — and that’s making sure the patient survives,” Strickland said.

According to the interim dean, the faculty puts much thought and care into designing these events… and they are equally blessed with great community partners.

“Air Evac is joining us, Ghent Volunteer Fire Department, Beaver Volunteer Fire Department — all of them come together and they support our processes,” she said it takes months of planning but it’s well worth it.

This simulated scenario shows just what medical personnel go through every day.

“A lot of work and really stressful and while this opportunity simulates that for the students; it really gives you an appreciation for just how precious life is,” said the interim dean. “And the training that we provide our students prepares them.”

Strickland said it means so much to see the students perform like they are on the front lines.

“I joke and tell them they are going to take care of me one day,” she said. “It’s just the most rewarding time for the allied health professions.”

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