PA Class of '24 taps into interprofessional training at College of Nursing

PA Class of '24 at College of Nursing Simulation Lab

In a little more than two months, 59 students from the Florida State University School of Physician Assistant Practice Class of 2024 will begin clinical rotations at one of the College of Medicine’s six regional campuses –  the final phase of their 27-month program. Once there, they will be fully immersed in the interprofessional health-care experience, learning and working alongside physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners and registered nurses.

Recently, the PA Class of 2024 got a  glimpse of what that will look like, thanks to an interprofessional education experience in the simulation lab at the FSU College of Nursing. The  activity was arranged by College of Medicine Associate Professor John P. Bastin, DMSc, PA-C, and College of Nursing Simulation Director Carla Dormeus, Ed.D., and it was the first time PA students used the lab.

“The sessions included an introduction to neonatal resuscitation,” Bastin said. “The students had the opportunity to practice resuscitation of a simulated newborn who was not breathing, which was followed by the emergency childbirth simulation.

”Using the high-fidelity simulators, students were given the opportunity to perform a prepartum assessment, observe the stages of delivery, then deliver the baby and placenta.”

The event, part of PA students’ emergency medicine instruction block, was divided into four sessions to accommodate the entire class in the simulation lab. Amanda Baxley, R.N. – one of a half-dozen College of Nursing personnel participating in the joint effort – led each of the sessions.

"Any chance we get to hear directly from healthcare providers from another profession and learn about how they care for their patients is enriching," said PA Class of '24 President Elijah Dorneval, who called it one of his best experiences to day. "And it definitely helps with the transition towards clinical year."

Count PA classmate Star Emison among those who was both impressed and enlightened by the experience.

“The nurses and nurse practitioners that led the activity were highly knowledgeable,” Emison said. “Not only did they teach us the mechanics of childbirth and resuscitation, but they also gave us insight into how to communicate with patients experiencing these emergencies.”

That type of information will soon have even greater value.

“The session prepared the PA students for clinical rotations starting in January, as well as entering clinical practice upon graduation,” Bastin said. “As an emergency medicine PA, I benefitted from the training, as well.”

The benefits extend beyond the actual medical training.

“Anyone who works in health care knows that nurses are relied on heavily,” Emison added. “There is a lot of value in working with nurses early in our education as it helps foster the respect that is necessary to provide team-based care.”

Bastin hopes to provide additional interprofessional experiences for PA students in the College of Nursing’s simulation lab in the future.

“I hope this is just the beginning for the collaboration between the two colleges,” Emison added. “There is so much we can learn from each other, especially in the setting of the simulation center that looks and feels like a real hospital.”

Dorneval expounded on Emison's sentiment.

"I think that there’s an immense benefit for future events, not only with the College of Nursing, but with other colleges as well," he said. "Diversity is part of our mission and that includes collaboration between professions. I believe this event is a very important step in enriching the graduate experience of all healthcare students at FSU."