MSW Students Talking

Social Work students Melissa Kinyon (left) and Torrye Hart (right) facilitated an interactive de-escalation skills workshop with participants that included students from the Physical Therapy, Exercise Science, and Pharmacy programs. Topics discussed included brain functioning during crisis, the importance of understanding one’s own needs before intervening in an escalated situation, and tangible tips for how to interact with an escalated person in a dignified, safe, and effective manner. This workshop was created to meet the needs of staff at the University of Montana’s New Directions Wellness Center, who were seeking training in de-escalation techniques so they can better serve clients. New Directions Wellness Center provides an interprofessional learning environment for student volunteers from different disciplines and areas of study. During this workshop, these students were able to better appreciate the role and skills that Social Work students have in crisis management.


Inter Professionals Experience (IPE) Day 2017

IPE Teaching In Hospital


            For the 4th year in a row, Salish Kootenai College’s Nursing Department played host for the annual Inter Professionals Experience event.  IPE is an event that allows medical, pharmacy, and nursing students an opportunity to gain more clinical experience through crafted scenarios, designed to sharpen their assessments skills, practice, and diagnosing.  In addition to attempting to teach students of these different professions how to recognize early signs and symptoms of critical conditions, IPE provides a rare opportunity for each discipline to observe how the others perform their own tasks in a hospital/clinical environment. 

By providing the students with a safe and controlled environment, through the use of simulation mannequins and actors, students are given the chance to administer medications, perform skills needed for patient care, and even have exposure to operating a successful code blue.  In the 4 years of hosting IPE, this year saw the largest turnout totaling 22 nursing students from SKC, 12 pharmacy students from the University of Montana, and 5 med students from the University of Washington’s WWAMI program, as well as a number of instructors and staff.

            This year’s IPE day was directed by SKC lab and simulation instructor Anthony Christensen.  This was the first year Christensen has directed all the activities and scenarios for IPE but has actually participated in the event the last two years.  In the past, Christensen was exposed to IPE as a nursing student and as the author and presenter for one of the simulations.  Continuing with one of his constructed simulations he designed as a BSN student, Christensen attempts to offer the students a rare chance to learn about patients with several conditions such as those struggling with addiction.  Patients undergoing substance abuse withdrawals can be unpredictable in their condition and mannerisms that the only safe place students can learn about them up close is through simulation.

 Christensen also designed two other scenarios which were presented by other instructors.  The challenges of designing scenarios for IPE is to have them be based on practical information, applicable to the medical profession, vary in degree of intensity, provide the students with adequate materials, and to create the scenarios to be engaging for the students.  Adding an element of fun and comedy to the scenarios, in the form of pop culture, is something he maintains throughout the day.  The medical profession is a serious field to enter and students today are under a tremendous amount of stress, therefore, maintaining a relaxed environment and approach is his primary focus of IPE.

Apart from keeping the students focused towards appropriate outcomes during the scenarios, Christensen gives the students free rein by letting them make their own orders, request lab values, and prepare medications.  Trying to expect the unexpected is the most difficult aspect of directing the scenarios for IPE.  The moment you figure the students are all going to do something all the same way is the moment one of them requests something unorthodox or prescribe some lesser, unfamiliar medication or procedure.

In the future, Christensen hopes to include students from other areas such as social work, dietary, physical therapy, and even students of theatrical arts.  If IPE continues to grow as it has, expanding to a larger facility will be necessary, as well as add additional scenarios, staff, and instructors.