By Dr. Anthony Pennington, Orlando Campus BSN Program Director and Simulation Coordinator Christy Vogel
ECPI University’s Orlando campus, led by Christy Vogel, the Orlando campus’ Simulation Coordinator, recently hosted an opioid overdose inter-professional simulation. Second-degree BSN students teamed up with Orlando Health, the Lake Mary Police Department, and the Lake Mary Fire Department to coordinate care of a patient found unresponsive after an opioid overdose. ECPI University Orlando and local community partners simulated a real-time emergency overdose situation. The care of the patient began with first responders arriving at the patient’s home where assessment and treatment of the patient was initiated. The patient was then transported to the Emergency Department where care was provided by Orlando Health caregivers and ECPI University Orlando nursing students.
The goal of the coordinated simulation exercise was to learn how to better deliver safe, quality healthcare to a patient with an acute opioid overdose. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, an estimated 130+ people die every day from opioid-related drug overdoses in the US, totaling over 47,600 people a year. With opioid deaths on the rise both locally and nationally, it is vital for those caring for the community to better understand each professional’s role in treating patients with an opioid overdose.
Each participant worked tirelessly on naloxone administration, deploying the Lucas device to deliver chest compressions, communicating with family members, and reporting between professionals. It was rewarding to see everyone work together in providing care for the patient. With this exercise, the importance of collaboration and communication between disciplines was readily evident. This simulated experience will enable ECPI University nursing students, Orlando Health professionals, the Lake Mary Police Department, and the Lake Mary Fire Department to use their newfound knowledge to better care for patients in the community.
Students and participants agreed that the experience was real and relevant and that they feel better prepared to provide care for patients with an opioid overdose. Students also said that with the addition of other professionals in the scenario, their learning was enhanced. ECPI University Orlando values its relationship with the local healthcare and law enforcement community and looks forward to continuing to work closely with other simulation opportunities in the future.