HPU Students Partner with Guilford County EMS for Experiential Learning

High Point University athletic training graduate students recently received hands-on learning to treat athletes who go into cardiac arrest. HPU students used a high fidelity mannequin from the Department of Physician Assistant Studies.


Guilford County EMS assisted HPU students in the training that took place at Vert Stadium.

HIGH POINT, N.C., July 1, 2020 –High Point University athletic training graduate students recently received hands-on learning to treat athletes who go into cardiac arrest on the sports field. The learning exercise was a partnership with HPU’s Department of Physician Assistant Studies and Guilford County EMS.

“We work collaboratively with physicians and other health care providers to provide a broad spectrum of care,” said Dr. Jolene Henning, chair and associate professor of athletic training. “Partnering with members of Guilford County EMS provides a wonderful inter-professional experience for our students who will be completing clinical rotations with regional athletic teams this fall.”

At HPU’s Vert Stadium, Billy Vaile, Department of Physician Assistant Studies’ Medical Simulation Center director, programmed a high fidelity mannequin to simulate an athlete going into cardiac arrest.

“The value for our athletic training students in high fidelity simulation is the element of realism,” said Vaile. “We bring live actors, situational awareness and a hands-on practical application to the classroom that is a unique and rare experience for students in higher education. Any time you can put the student into a scenario that is as real as possible, the outcomes for patients will always be improved, and that is the goal.”

HPU’s athletic training graduate students responded to the patient to begin administering care. Once the mannequin went into an unresponsive state, students then followed protocol and called 911. Soon, students could hear the sounds of an ambulance approaching campus.

Members of Guilford County EMS assisted students with transferring the patient from their care to EMS’ care.

“For us students, this was a stressful situation and our first time administering CPR, but the Guilford County EMS members were very calm and asked us the right questions and gave great constructive feedback at the end,” said Nathalie Elliott, a first-year athletic training graduate student.

Elliott added that this training was invaluable in preparing them for their athletic training careers.

“Working with our Department of Physician Assistant Studies is such a nice advantage for us because we don’t get to experience real patients that have breathing or heart issues on the spot,” said Elliott. “It’s great that both departments put together this simulation for us so we can hear and see what the patient is going through.”

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