PJC’s Simulation prepares students

Home Features PJC’s Simulation prepares students

Katie Coseo


Many allied health students attending PJC at the Warrington campus use the Mary Ekdahl Smart simulation to prepare for real life situations. Many students would say that the simulations are a great help for learning in that students can make their mistakes with a mannequin than with a real person.


Paramedic Program Director Don Lee, along with Education Director for the Center of Patient Simulation Marta Suarez-O’Conner and Simulation Specialist Annette Orangio, worked together to create a simulation for the LPN and Paramedic students to join forces in saving a life.


“Marta and Annette have just bent over backwards,” exclaimed Lee. “We experimented with the last paramedic class,” however because both programs had conflicting schedules the simulations couldn’t be carried all the way through.


Two groups of three LPN groups will assess a patient who is in need. The first group began to notice the patients’ early signs of deterioration. The simulation is paused while the first group briefs the second. In the control room a teacher sets up the vitals and machines that will “monitor” the patient. When the second group arrives they assess the patient and take vitals, but this time the patient is going downhill fast with slurred speech and moaning voiced by the teacher.


“The idea is do the LPNs say ‘Hmm we need to go to the hospital,’” explained Lee. “He’s going to arrest, so my group is going to do the whole shock, intubate, and drug thing.” Lee acts as dispatcher with a two way radio to his class. Paramedic students are selected to be “on call” and will answer to the emergency call that the LPN students will hopefully make.


Orangio commented that the simulation with the LPNs, “It’s very important. They often don’t have the opportunity to go through all of the motions.”  She explained that there is an importance of team coordination especially when working in long term facilities where deciding to call 911 is crucial in care.  


When the LPNs say the magic words to call 911 they begin CPR until the paramedics arrive. Three arrive in the simulator with gurney, defibrillator and emergency medications. CPR, shocking, and administration of meds were preceded.


At the end of the simulation, review from Don and Annette were given to both groups in order for them to improve for the future. Don corrected the nurses on some of the CPR techniques as well as pointing out to both groups the importance of team work and establishing who should do what during the emergency when help arrives.


As for the “patient” he will live to do another simulation for another day.