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Loyola partners with Notre Dame to prepare students for collaborative practice

Interprofessional simulation lab

Speech-language-pathology graduate students at Loyola University Maryland joined nursing students from Notre Dame of Maryland University to participate in a series of simulation labs at Notre Dame on Monday, April 8, 2019.

Designed to improve the quality of patient care in the medical field, the interprofessional simulation lab titled, Enhancing Collaboration Between Nursing and Speech-Language Pathology Students for Improved Quality of Patient Care, challenged students with a two-part lab series.

“The simulation has stemmed from the success of Loyola’s early efforts with Notre Dame,” said Rebecca Zukowski, Ph.D., executive director of Loyola Clinical Centers. “We are looking forward to continuing to build upon these activities in order to graduate students with a solid foundation in interprofessional collaborative practice.”

In the first lab of the event, Loyola speech students performed a clinical swallowing evaluation on nursing students who portrayed a patient with a stroke. The goal of this exercise was to have the speech students complete a thorough exam while following best protocols.

During the second lab, nursing students educated the speech students on correct protocol when performing tracheostomy suctioning. Then the speech students had to demonstrate sterile suctioning procedure on the mannequins.

“This simulation lab helps to better prepare our students for their externship interviews and placements in acute care facilities,” said Andrea Atticks, clinical instructor and affiliate professor of speech-language-hearing sciences. “Our students will be able to work in a hospital setting—alleviating some of the apprehension that comes with the unknown—before their externship placements.”

Darian Roffe, M.S. ’20, a first-year speech graduate student at Loyola, said this lab experience helped prepare her for her upcoming internship.

“By gaining hands-on experience in this simulation lab, I am more prepared to begin my clinical internship at the Washington DC VA Medical Center this summer,” Roffe said. “Not only am I prepared, but this lab helped me become more confident in my abilities to assess, diagnose, and treat those with dysphagia.”

Gabriella Cameron, M.S. ’20, also a first-year speech graduate student, said this collaboration with Notre Dame will help to improve communication in the medical field.

“I think it’s really important for future medical professionals to understand the amount of collaboration that occurs and the necessity of communication in a hospital setting,” said Cameron. “In order to provide the best care for patients, each medical professional needs to be communicating with each other about the status of the patient.”

Zukowski believed the simulation labs and the increased collaboration with Notre Dame reflect how Loyola is living out its mission.

“Addressing the needs of the whole person from an interprofessional perspective embodies the spirit of cura personalis—focusing on the whole person,” she said. “Activities such as this specific simulation support our core Jesuit/Ignatian approach to teaching and learning.”