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Faculty Take Simulation on the Road to the Himalayas

May 19, 2014

Himalayas Group PicA team of three nursing professors from the Drexel College of Nursing and Health Professions, led by Jill Derstine, traveled to Eternal University’s Akal College of Nursing, located in the foothills of the Himalayas in India. Derstine, along with Leland “Rocky” Rockstraw and Marylou McHugh, taught Akal College faculty and students about how healthcare simulation promotes critical thinking and safe patient care. The three experts conducted India’s Northern Regional Workshop on Simulation April 7-9, which was attended by Akal’s nursing faculty, visiting nursing faculty from the northern region of India, and nursing students.

India’s national infant mortality and maternal mortality rates are high due in part to the gap in available obstetrics services in the rural mountains of Northern India.  With this understanding, Drexel’s Office of International Programs provided a grant to our faculty so that they may supply the Akal College of Nursing with two birthing simulators (Laerdal’s “MamaNatalie”), which allows for the simulation of normal to complex birthing scenarios, a high fidelity and low technology venue which allows students to practice in a clinically safe environment the assessment, monitoring, and treatment of mother and child during childbirth.

Himalayas SimulationIn addition to using the simulators, students from both the College of Nursing and the College of Education of Eternal University participated in a standardized patient scenario. Immediately following the simulations, students were lead in debriefing by Drs. McHugh and Rockstraw, during which they reported that they felt excited, more confident, and that they had a safe environment to learn.

Himalayas Group Discussion Senior University official Neelam Kaur, Advisor, Health and Education, stated in a recent press release that the visiting Drexel team “has put the Akal College of Nursing at Baru Sahib on the world map in context by bringing the latest innovations in Nursing Education (Nursing Informatics, Global Nursing and now Simulation) at the doorstep of this remote, deep rural pocket nestled in the North West Himalayas.”

Drexel’s College of Nursing and Health Professions has had a relationship with the Akal College of Nursing since 2007. According to Rockstraw, Assist Dean, Simulation and Technology Academic Operations, “What better way to advance nursing education by incorporating healthcare simulation, which allows students to practice and explore key competencies and critical thinking in a safe environment?”