Empowering future careers

“Clear!” along with audible 30-second counts are heard as students in the NDSU College of Health Professions learn how a team must seamlessly work together in an emergency. Carl Shapiro serves as their patient—talking, breathing and exhibiting signs of distress. 

Each semester, more than 130 pharmacy and nursing students learn how to quickly react in simulated code situations. The interdisciplinary, high-tech education prepares students for future careers. 

Simulation Lab instructors control Carl, the high-tech patient. The lab provides third-year pharmacy students and senior nursing students an opportunity to work as a team. The investment to offer such sessions includes high-tech mannequins, which can cost more than $80,000 apiece. 

Students administer CPR and medications, use a defibrillator, learn closed-loop communication and how they might react in an emergency. Sessions are recorded. The team reviews their performance with instructors, gaining valuable knowledge. 

Third-year pharmacy student Susan Lyons said one aspect of the training stands out. “How well we (pharmacy students and nursing students) worked together, without knowing each other or having ever worked together before. I also liked how well this simulation represented real-life situations,” said Lyons. 

Health care employers seek graduates who are adept at team-based care. 

“Recognizing that roles for future pharmacists and nurses are ever expanding, we are making strides within our curriculum,” said Charles Peterson, dean of the college. “We are preparing students to be part of an interdisciplinary health care team that serves a variety of patients, clients and needs.” 

Building excellence 

NDSU’s College of Health Professions provides a critical link to supply a steady stream of health professionals in pharmacy, nursing, allied sciences and public health. From 1995 to 2016, enrollment in the college grew 208 percent to more than 2,000 students. 

Read more about why our facilities are bursting at the seams and how we are working to address a critical shortage of health care professionals. Generous donors have committed approximately two-thirds of funds needed for an addition to our facilities. As the State Board of Higher Education and the State Legislature have granted approval to move forward on this project, efforts are underway to secure additional private funding for this much needed facility.

To learn how you can support students and programs in the College of Health Professions, contact Amy Ruley, senior director of development at amy.ruley@ndsu.edu and 701.231.6461.

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