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FHS students conquer National Health Care Team Challenge

  • Published Wed Apr 1st 2015

    A team of health students beat out competitors from across the country this month to win the 2015 National Health Care Team Challenge.

    The winning team included (l-r): Jason Kwok, Jessica Pang, faculty supervisor Dr. Lucie Pelland, Rajini Retnasothie, Chloe Hudson and Sammantha Dunseath. (Photo Supplied)

    Held on March 6 as part of the National Health Sciences Students’ Association Conference, the challenge had a team of nursing, occupational therapy, medicine and clinical psychology students work together to design and present a comprehensive treatment plan for a mock patient. The competition makes each student bring to bear the skills of their particular discipline in order to best serve their patient.

    “Medicine is moving towards an interprofessional collaborative care model, and the competition gives students a taste of that,” says Sammantha Dunseath (Nurs’15), a member of the winning team.

    In the competition’s case study, the patient was a trauma physician who, after a skiing accident, was being treated at the hospital where he worked. For their winning presentation, the team paid special attention to the confidentiality concerns raised by being treated by one’s colleagues and made sure to incorporate the opinions of the patient into their treatment plan. They also made use of a campus medical lab to create a simulation video that served as part of their presentation.

    By bringing to bear their unique skills, the students not only designed a better care plan, but they changed some of their opinions too.

    “Before we started, I had some preconceived notions about hierarchies in health care,” says Ms. Dunseath. “I thought it would be the physicians giving orders to everyone else, but instead everyone listened to each other and contributed what they knew. We ultimately decided to make our nursing student our team leader, because the nurse seemed like the ideal person to serve as a bridge between the patient and healthcare team.”

    Jessica Pang (MSc’15) is an occupational therapy student who was also part of the winning team. She said that working with a diverse group of healthcare students helped them take their approaches out of “silos” and incorporate the strengths of each profession’s approach.

    “We joined this competition because we wanted to learn from each other,” she says. “We had different opinions, both within our professions and between, but ultimately that meant our treatment better handled the patient’s needs. It meant that we didn’t miss anything.” 

    By Andrew Stokes, Communications Officer