Boynton Beach High Students Train at FAU Simulation Center
By: Gisele Galoustian
Through an innovative community outreach program to support diverse and economically disadvantaged students pursuing careers in medicine, 40 sophomore students from Boynton Beach High School (BBHS) had the opportunity to experience what it’s like to be a physician for the day as they learned first-hand how to respond to medical emergency scenarios using state-of-the-art simulation technology. The high school students were mentored by medical students in the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine at Florida Atlantic University. This program is a new affiliation between FAU’s College of Medicine and Boynton Beach High School Medical Sciences Academy.
The program is providing approximately 110 students from BBHS with in-classroom teaching sessions led by FAU’s medical students and includes anatomy lab instruction, medical simulation technology experience, special campus tours, as well as admissions and financial aid workshops. The medical simulation activity enabled these students to take the content they have learned in the classroom and put it into practice at school and at home, and during their clinical rotations in approved medical facilities.
The students were mentored through various medical emergency scenarios at the simulation center such as a diabetes case, a hypertension/stroke case and cardiac arrest case, working with high-tech, life-like mannequins. They had the opportunity to perform CPR, examine the mannequins, listen to their heart rate, check their blood pressure, and learn about key signs and symptoms of a heart attack, stroke and diabetes. The information they gleaned during the practice sessions provided takeaway messages that they will be able to share with family and friends, and during their clinical rotations in approved medical facilities.
Mannequins at the simulation center display actual physiological signs and symptoms of human patients affected by medical or trauma events. They breathe, blink, and bleed; have variable blood pressure and heart rates that replicate the human response to medical scenarios, and can react to treatment, including drugs and ventilation therapy. If incorrect drugs or dosages are administered, the mannequin will respond exactly as a human patient. FAU’s Medical Simulation Center has developed more than 100 medical emergency scenarios to train nurses, physicians, emergency first responders, medical students, and medical residents.
The eight rooms in FAU’s Medical Simulation Center have been designed to look and operate just like an emergency room in a hospital, and are equipped with gurneys, monitors, IV poles, defibrillators, blood pressure cuffs, simulated oxygen ports, and all of the equipment and supplies required to respond to medical emergencies.
The new affiliation between FAU and Boynton Beach High School Medical Sciences Academy was made possible by a $20,000 grant from the Education Foundation of Palm Beach County. In addition, FAU’s College of Medicine recently received a generous $300,000 grant from the Quantum Foundation for the HCOP program. Schools with biomedical sciences academies that benefited from the HCOP program include Lake Worth Middle, Roosevelt Middle, Lake Worth High, and Palm Beach Gardens High. This grant allows FAU’s College of Medicine to serve an additional 700+ students in Palm Beach County with its HCOP program, including new medical academy affiliations.