Kelly Foltz-Ramos, University at Buffalo’s Director of Simulation was at a conference last year and decided to bring some ideas back with her.
The main one involved locking students in a room for half an hour and forcing them to talk to each other.
“The goal is for them to appreciate each other’s roles,” said Feltz-Ramos.
Faculty at UB’s nursing and pharmacy schools are working on their inter-disciplinary training by creating an “escape room” as a live simulation exercise.
It’s new to the curriculum this year - but the students response is what the faculty is most pleased with.
“This really took away the fear of talking to a pharmacist when you’re in the hospital setting,” said senior nursing student Simranjeet Kaur.
“Because, a lot of times you feel like ‘oh, they may not want to work with you’ because you’re from nursing, but this made us feel like we were a team working together for a goal.”
The escape room give students just 30 minutes to work with each other by uncovering clues that will help them calculate how much medicine “Patient X” will need to take.
After getting the proper calculation - they will receive the key to unlock his medicine cabinet.
The exercise has real world application, according to Nicholas Fusco, on faculty at the University at Buffalo School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.
“When student graduate the expectation is that they go in to a health system, for example, and that they’re working collaboratively with one another.”
Third year pharmacy student Omar Marzouk says he took a lot away from the exercises today, it was not just about fun, it was about seeing how things will be out of the classroom.
“I think it’s a lot like real life would be, you’re not going to always know who you’re working with. But, you’ll know their place on the team, what their expertise is, and you’re going to defer those things to them.”
The simulation ran all day with different groups participating before doing a few other simulations in different workshops.