Aug 152014
 

If you walk by the Department of Physician Assistant Studies lab in the College of Allied Health Sciences, you may notice someone lying alone on a hospital bed. Don’t be alarmed, our students haven’t abandoned an ailing patient, that’s just the new patient simulator waiting for the next round of students to practice medical procedures and diagnoses skills with him.

(L-R) PA faculty members Kim Stokes, Natalie Smith, Julie Daniel-Yount, and Jane Trapp work on the patient simulator during the faculty training session.

(L-R) PA faculty members Kim Stokes, Natalie Smith, Julie Daniel-Yount, and Jane Trapp work on the patient simulator during the faculty training session.

This newest simulation tool effectively prepares PA students for their field by allowing them to act out patient scenarios in a controlled environment. The Laerdal SimMan Essentials patient simulator, which has been named “Sammy” by the the PA department, can present several different types of symptoms including dilated pupils, increased heart rate, strange lung sounds, and many other diagnosable issues. With pulse points in five different locations, eyes that blink, and several other life-like features, “Sammy” is as “real” as a patient can be without actually being alive.

“Simulation is a wonderful way for students to practice in a virtual environment where mistakes can be made and learned from without affecting real patients,” said Dr. Alan Gindoff, chair of the Department.

With a panel in the arm of the SimMan, students can place IVs and administer drugs for treatment.

With a panel in the arm of the SimMan, students can place IVs and administer drugs for treatment.

Once a faculty member has used the wireless, touch-screen monitor to give the simulator a certain ailment, PA students then actually perform a physical examination, diagnose the problem and carry-out a treatment plan. With this method of learning, PA students can learn skills hands-on such as how to intubate, treat a pneumothorax (collapsed lung), perform an intraosseous infusion into the bone marrow of the simulator’s knee and chest, and administer drugs intravenously.

The patient simulator monitor tracks the heart rate, oxygen stats and blood pressure of the SimMan, similar to that of a hospital monitor. With this advanced technology, PA students are able to actually carry out diagnoses and treatments with a “patient” that reacts to their courses of action versus simply planning and discussing them . Also with the monitor, faculty is able to change and customize the SimMan’s condition at the touch of a button during the treatment, such as increasing his heart-rate, decreasing his oxygen levels or distending his abdomen.

With interchangeable and customizable parts, the SimMan can allow for several different types of scenarios that help prepare PA students for obstacles in the medical field, whether that is a swollen tongue making intubation difficult or a sudden need for CPR.

“Through simulation, student can apply medical management in near real-life scenarios so they may develop complex skill sets before they actually perform them on human beings,” said Gindoff, “This is unlike a multiple choice test where the answers are in front of you, waiting to be chosen from a list. This is like real-life where you have to use your knowledge to diagnose a variety of symptoms and what those symptoms may mean when presented all together.”

The touch-screen monitor displays active medical conditions and allows faculty to control the patient simulator's symptoms and reactions to treatment.

The touch-screen monitor displays active medical conditions and allows faculty to control the patient simulator’s symptoms and reactions to treatment.

Through patient simulators, the Department of Physician Assistant studies is effectively preparing students for the medical field. “Sammy” may be just a patient simulator, but through his life-like symptoms and various diagnoses, he is training future PAs for real life patients.

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Aug 112014
 

East Carolina University College of Nursing graduates who work at CarolinaEast Medical Center have a new way to stay connected with their alma mater. The college and the medical facility have partnered to launch the Pirate Nurse Network at CarolinaEast Medical Center.

The Pirate Nurse Network is a member-driven support organization designed to provide educational opportunities and networking for ECU nursing graduates. The New Bern alumni group is eastern North Carolina’s second such network; the college and Vidant Medical Center in Greenville announced the first Pirate Nurse Network in November 2013. 14-308 PirateNurseNetwork_CEMC-circle

“The College of Nursing is very proud of its alumni,” said Dr. Sylvia Brown, dean of nursing. “We intend for these networks to support graduates’ careers while also keeping them connected to the college and to each other.”

Dr. Alta Andrews, director for community partnerships and practice at the College of Nursing, said that when the Pirate Nurse Network held its inaugural meeting at CarolinaEast this spring, attendees immediately sensed their common bonds.

“There were people who work in that agency that really didn’t know each other at all, who came to school in different decades.” Andrews said. “But the energy, the excitement, and just the warm feeling in that room was phenomenal.”

Andrews worked with Dr. Lou Everett, assistant to the dean for the undergraduate program, and other college staff to establish the network. Collaborators at CarolinaEast included Rosanne Leahy (BSN ‘78), vice president and chief nursing officer, and Beth Paul (BSN ’07, MSN ‘14), an intensive care nurse.

Paul remarked on the same sense of community that Andrews noted about the group. Many CarolinaEast Medical Center nursing staff members help educate ECU students by serving as clinical preceptors, but this is another way for alumni to get involved.

“We all have that Pirate spirit within us,” Paul said. “This is a great opportunity for us to give back to the college and get involved with it again.”

Already 30 alumni have joined, and members say they are looking forward to continued growth. The group is planning to offer social networking events in addition to professional development activities. Members also have expressed interest in community service opportunities, which is a wonderful way for nurses to get to know one another as well as their community, Leahy said.

“It’s a nice way for nurses to grow together, to professionally develop together, and to establish a network of support for one another,” Leahy said.

CarolinaEast is a 350-bed facility with inpatient and outpatient services in addition to units dedicated to heart, critical, intensive, women’s, pediatric, orthopedic, surgical and cancer care.

For information about joining or creating a Pirate Nurse Network, contact Elizabeth Willy at willye14@ecu.edu or 252-744-6424.

Aug 052014
 

This summer Laupus Technology Services is working hard to provide great new resources for our patrons.

GetChargedMachineIf you’ve ever experienced your phone battery dying while on campus, you might like this solution: Laupus Library is now offering Kwikboost charging stations. The stations provide a secure way to store and charge your cell phone or mobile device while you study or go to class. Connect the charging cable to your device in an empty bay and set a custom pin number on the front of the locker. Your phone will securely charge until you return.

The stations accommodate the latest Android and Apple devices, and provide Apple 30 pin connectors, lightning connectors, micro USB and mini USB connectors for older mobile devices.

Three six-bay charging stations have been installed throughout the library in easy-to-find locations.

Jul 292014
 

The Department of Health Services and Information Management at the College of Allied Health Sciences has created a new opportunity for students with its Registered Health Information Administrator (RHIA) graduate certificate program.

The RHIA graduate certificate program will provide students that already have a bachelor’s degree with the knowledge and skills needed in order to serve as a critical link between health care providers, payers, and patients. The curriculum is designed to help students develop characteristics associated with an effective leader in health information management: critical thinking skills, problem solving abilities, communication and interpersonal skills, and ethical values.

The objective of this certificate program is to expand upon the students’ current knowledge and skills in order to qualify them to register for the national Registered Health Information Administrators (RHIA) credential examination offered by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA).

Dr. Paul Bell

Dr. Paul Bell

“The Department of Health Services and Information Management is proud to offer the new graduate registered health information administrator certificate. The certificate makes it possible for individuals with a previously earned undergraduate degree to become eligible for the RHIA credential. Furthermore, the RHIA credential should help strengthen an individual’s overall marketability in the growing field of health care informatics and information management,” said Dr. Paul Bell, professor in the department and coordinator for the new certificate.

Students enrolled in the Registered Health Information Administrator certificate program will not only be prepared to take the RHIA exam, but will also be equipped with the skills to manage patient health information and medical records, administer computer information systems, collect and analyze patient data, and use classification systems and medical terminologies. Along with those skills, successful students will be able to effectively interact with various levels of an organization that employ patient data in decision-making and everyday operations.

Career choices for students holding this certificate are available in multiple settings throughout the healthcare industry such as program director, chief compliance officer, director of risk management, and director of clinical informatics.

For more information, visit the RHIA certificate website at www.ecu.edu/hsim/RHIA.cfm or contact Dr. Paul Bell at bellp@ecu.edu .

To check out other certificate programs offered by the Department of Health Services and Information Management visit http://www.ecu.edu/cs-dhs/hsim/degrees.cfm.

Jul 232014
 

Carroll portrait BSOMDr. Robert G. Carroll, a professor of physiology in the Brody School of Medicine, was selected as the 2014 Claude Bernard Distinguished Lecturer by a national society this spring.

It is one of only 12 distinguished lectureships sponsored by the American Physiology Society and approved by the APS Council. The APS Teaching of Physiology section chose Carroll, who presented “The Social Contract of Learning” at the APS Experimental Biology Meeting in San Diego on April 27. 

Bernard (1818-1878) was a famous French scientist and the founder of modern experimental physiology.

 Carroll earned his Ph.D. in 1981 under the direction of Dr. David F. Opdyke at the Department of Physiology of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-Newark. This was followed by a three-year post-doctoral fellowship at University of Mississippi Medical Center under the sponsorship of Drs. Thomas E. Lohmeier and Arthur C. Guyton. 

Among his many service roles, Carroll is a past chair the education committee for the American Physiological Society and is chair of the education committee of the International Union of Physiological Sciences. He served as chief editor of the Advances in Physiology Education journal for six years. In the past, he served on the United States Medical Licensing Exam Step I physiology test material development committee of the National Board of Medical Examiners.

Carroll has worked at ECU’s Brody School of Medicine since 1984 where he also serves as interim associate dean of medical education.