Theatre students perform in realistic nursing simulations

On Monday, Feb. 4, the SVSU theatre and nursing departments collaborated to host realistic nursing simulations for the nursing students.

The goal of the simulations is for students to continue to better their abilities through realistic learning experiences, which will prepare them for their future careers.

David Rzeszutek, an associate professor of theatre, helped host the event.

While last year, some theatre students were able to participate in a similar event, this is the first year the event was held at SVSU.

“Last year, professor Peggy Mead-Finizio in the theatre department started a dialogue with Dr. Tami Pobocik and had some theatre students participate as volunteer standardized patients for the N3 Community Nursing simulation,” Rzeszutek said.

This year, the program has expanded and is supported by grant funding.

“The program this year has expanded to various levels of nursing training,” said Tina Thornton, an assistant professor of nursing. “The actors are supported through a grant from the Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow

Only theatre students or students with backgrounds in acting could apply to be actors in the simulations.

“The posting did not allow for nursing students to apply,” Thornton said, “as it was a conflict of interest and favored applicants that had theatrical, improvisational or healthcare simulation backgrounds.”

The theatre students had to prep before they were able to perform as one of the standard patients.

“Prior to the simulations, the theatre students were given a patient profile to study and were debriefed by the nursing department team on the outline of the simulation, what to expect and fielded any medical questions,” Rzeszutek said.

To make sure that the simulations were realistic, Rzeszutek helped the theatre students through the process.

“Professor Rzeszutek attended the debriefings to help the theatre students with any acting questions,” Thornton said, “so the simulations seemed truthful for the nursing and occupational therapy students.”

One of the simulations performed dealt with the neurological system and the assessment of patient’s needs.

“The most recent simulation was a simulation related to pain in the neurological system,” Thornton said. “It was related to patient prioritization and assessment of patient needs. The theatre student portrayed one of the characters in the simulation.”

Thorton hopes that the collaboration will create a more realistic learning environment.

“We hope that the simulations will provide a positive collaborative experience for the nursing and theatre students,” Thornton said.

Reported by Shelby Mott, Vanguard Reporter

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