Misericordia University students learn about protective equipment

First Posted: 11/6/2014

The College of Health Sciences at Misericordia University recently held the workshop, “Back to Basic: Germ Protection,” a Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) training program for students majoring in the health and medical science programs at the University.

The workshop offered instruction to students in a wide range of majors, including nursing, physician assistant studies, medical imaging, and other health and medical science professionals, on how to properly gear up with PPE in response to infectious diseases, such as Ebola. The students had the opportunity to go through different stations where they were able to practice CDC protocol under the direction of Brenda Pavill, Ph.D., C.R.N.P., associate professor of nursing, and a certified family nurse practitioner. Graduate students from the Misericordia University Family Nurse Practitioner Program were instrumental in making the 10 stations interactive and informative. More than 75 students and faculty members participated in the program.

“This was a great opportunity for all the students in the health and medical sciences,” said Allison McIntyre, a junior medical imaging student from Ashland, Pa. “We all work together as a team in the hospital, so it is important to know the techniques of getting the protective gear on and off. It is also important to be aware of how easily infectious diseases can spread. I was most surprised at how much protection is needed for something like Ebola, and that there are approximately 30-steps in the procedure for the decontamination process.”

“Conceptually, you know what to do, but by applying it in a hands-on practicum, as we did here, helps the knowledge to coalesce,” added Jackie Zabresky, a graduate student from Dallas, Pa., who is enrolled in the Doctor of Nursing Practice Program. During the simulation, Zabresky served as the doffer, and demonstrated what the person, armed with a walkie-talkie, would do to help a fellow worker through each step of the extensive decontamination process. “I have read about the buddy system, and this simulation really helped me take what I read in a book and practice what needs to be done to keep a person from re-contaminating themselves and others.”

Manning the station that addressed the procedures for what to do if a health care worker is exposed to an infectious disease, Victoria Romano, a fellow student in the Doctor of Nursing Practice Program from Shohola, Pa., presented information on who is most at risk, and the signs and symptoms of infectious diseases. “As a health care worker, any one of us could be exposed to an infectious disease and not know it. That’s where education comes in,” she said. “The important thing to remember is not to panic. We all need to know and follow the CDC guidelines.”

Dr. Pavill emphasized the importance of having the graduate family nursing practitioner students serve as teachers during the process. “There is no better way to absorb the information than to walk through the process. By teaching others, they were also educating themselves. It was a valuable learning process for all of us, students and faculty alike.”

Event coordinator Brenda Pavill, Ph.D., is shown being interviewed by reporter Mark Hiller from WBRE-TV at a Department of Nursing workshop on Personal Protective Equipment Protocol for Infectious Diseases such as Ebola held recently at Misericordia University.

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Misericordia University sonography student Lisa Morrin, Lock Haven, Pa., suited during “Back to Basics: Germ Protection,” a Personal Protective Equipment Workshop (PPE) hosted by the Department of Nursing to prepare students in a variety of medical and health science disciplines, such as nursing, medical imaging and speech-language pathology, to be prepared to treat patients with infectious diseases, such as Ebola.

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Graduate nurse practitioner student Richard Baranowski, Dallas, Pa., gets sprayed by fellow student Jackie Zabresky, Dallas, Pa., during a decontamination simulation as part of “Back to Basics: Germ Protection,” a Personal Protective Equipment Workshop (PPE) hosted by the Department of Nursing at Misericordia University.

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Misericordia University undergraduate nursing students Ariel Porzuczek, Wilkes-Barre, Pa., and Brittany Wolfe, Milton, Pa., watch as graduate student Erica Comine, Scranton, Pa., demonstrates the proper disrobing techniques for Personal Protective Equipment now suggested by the CDC in the battle against infectious diseases during a recent workshop on campus.

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Misericordia University graduate family nurse practitioner student Tricia Slusser, Yatesville, Pa., demonstrates that the stages of suiting up in Personal Protective Equipment according to the latest CDC standards can be quite extensive.

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