Trauma Day Provides Firsthand Learning Experience | April 2018
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Trauma Day Provides Firsthand Learning Experience

April 25, 2018

Various Gwinnett health professions students collaborated to provide emergency care during simulated exercises.

Trauma Day, held Tuesday, April 17, 2018, on the campus of Georgia Campus – Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (GA-PCOM), provided health professions students from Georgia Gwinnett College (GGC), Gwinnett Technical College and GA-PCOM an opportunity to work together as they treated “patients” suffering from a range of injuries and ailments.

Organizers created a mock call center and triage area. Gwinnett Tech’s Emergency Medical Services (EMS) students were dispatched around campus and the surrounding area to bring simulated patients—either mannequins or patient actors—to GA-PCOM’s 3,500-square-foot Simulation Center, which includes emergency medicine training facilities. GGC nursing students assessed patients and GA-PCOM osteopathic medicine students then conducted next level evaluations and began treatment.

Some “patients” were sent to the Simulation Center’s surgery suite for continuing care. GA-PCOM’s Dr. Don Penney, clinical professor of emergency medicine, and Dr. Frank Jones, clinical professor of surgery, performed simulated surgeries with the assistance of Gwinnett Tech’s surgical tech students and GA-PCOM’s student doctors.

“It takes a village to take care of one patient,” said Sharon Grason, director of GGC’s nursing program. Osteopathic medicine student Abdul Walters (DO ‘20) participated in the Trauma Day exercises and noted that nursing students were vigilant in verifying prescription dosing before administering medicine to patients, closing the ordering loop.

Jeffery Adams, NREMP-P, MA, BS, who serves as GA-PCOM’s director of simulation, spoke of the event’s opportunity to provide collaboration between medical disciplines.

“Students learned mutual respect throughout the day-long exercises,” Adams said.

The students worked together on 24 scenarios including a human trafficking case, an opioid overdose, a gunshot wound, a schizophrenic episode, a heart attack, a septic newborn and a motor vehicle accident involving a pregnant driver.

The cases were designed by GA-PCOM’s biomedical sciences students who are taking the medical simulation concentration. The cases were vetted by physician faculty members for medical accuracy. Instructors from the three colleges worked alongside students to ensure appropriate and quality care for the patients.

GA-PCOM Associate Dean for Clinical Integration Michael Sampson, DO, FAOASM, explained the Trauma Day exercises increase the level of experience and exposure for students coming out of school.

“Trauma Day breeds teamwork and collaboration between all disciplines of medical care—it’s interprofessional education at its finest,” Sampson added.

Dr. Sampson also said GA-PCOM’s physician assistant, pharmacy and physical therapy students will be invited to participate in future Trauma Day simulations.

To prepare the DO students for Trauma Day, weekly simulation exercises known as “Sim Battles” were run throughout the year for second-year DO students. Student teams competed and were judged by clinical faculty members. The top four teams were selected to participate in Trauma Day.

According to Dr. Sampson, the top team was named Sim Battle Champion and awarded a championship belt. The team member names were placed on the belt for display in the Simulation Center. The ultimate goal of Sim Battles, Sampson noted, is to prepare for the national Simulation Olympics, held annually.

Event organizers expressed thanks to the faculty and students at GGC, Gwinnett Tech and Amerimed EMS of Buford, which supplied an ambulance for the training exercises.

Other GA-PCOM faculty members who participated in Trauma Day included Clinical Professor Gary Freed, DO; Clinical Assistant Professor Renee Himmelbaum, DO; Clinical Assistant Professor Colette Bullock, DO; and Assistant Professor of Family Medicine Lauren Ball, DO.

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About PCOM Georgia

Established in 2005, PCOM Georgia is a branch campus of Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM), a private, not-for-profit, accredited institution of higher education with a storied 125-year history dedicated to the healthcare professions. Located in Suwanee (Gwinnett County), PCOM Georgia offers doctoral degrees in osteopathic medicine, pharmacy and physical therapy. Graduate degrees are offered in biomedical sciences, medical laboratory science and physician assistant studies. The campus joins PCOM South Georgia in Moultrie in helping to meet the healthcare needs of the state. Emphasizing "a whole person" approach to care, PCOM Georgia focuses on educational excellence, interprofessional education and service to the community. For more information, visit or call 678-225-7500. The campus is also home to the Georgia Osteopathic Care Center, an osteopathic manipulative medicine clinic, which is open to the public by appointment. For more information, visit

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