Prashad wins AFC Exemplary Practice Award
Health care educators know that best practices in teaching lead to positive outcomes—not only for student success, but also for patients’ lives.
The Healthcare Education Commission of the Association of Florida Colleges annually recognizes such outstanding programs and professionals with its Exemplary Practice Award, and this year’s award went to Dr. Raywattie Prashad, assistant nursing director at Palm Beach State College.
Prashad and two other finalists, representing Florida State College at Jacksonville and Seminole State College, presented their best practices at the AFC Region III conference April 29, hosted by Lake-Sumter State College in Clermont.
Prashad’s winning presentation focused on the College’s use of human simulation technology to improve the quality and safety of patient care. Human patient simulators are wireless mannequins that can be programmed to mimic any health condition or crisis, from diabetes to a heart attack. PBSC has been using this technology in its health science and public safety programs for more than 10 years, but thanks to a $55,000 grant awarded in 2014 by the Florida Blue Foundation, the College has taken its simulation training to a new level.
As described in Prashad’s presentation, the lack of communication among health care professionals has been identified as the leading cause of medical errors, particularly affecting the elderly and veterans. Through a partnership with University of Miami Medical School, Prashad developed a curriculum to conduct interprofessional simulation exercises involving the medical students as well as students enrolled in Palm Beach State’s registered nursing, practical nursing, nursing assistant, respiratory therapy and paramedic programs. The curriculum includes a six-hour day, in which students rotate through three different cases, practicing their own roles as well as utilizing collaborative communication techniques.
“Students typically practice in their own professional silos, but when they come together in the interprofessional simulation setting, that’s when the true learning occurs,” said Prashad. “Also, because it’s not a real situation, they’re not stressed out and can learn from their mistakes without life or death consequences.”
Registered nurses enrolled in PBSC’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing program also participate in the exercises, as well as faculty. These practicing professionals earn continuing education units and bring another level of realism into the mix through their experience. The sessions are conducted in the Center of Excellence in Medical Simulation at Palm Beach State College.
Prashad will reprise her presentation at the AFC annual conference in November, where she’ll also receive $500 as the winner of the 2016 Exemplary Practice Award.
Chair of AFC’s Healthcare Education Commission, Dr. Monica Franklin of Florida State College at Jacksonville, facilitated the finalist presentations at the regional meeting and looks forward to seeing Prashad present on a larger stage at the annual conference.
“It was obvious from her presentation that Dr. Prashad is very passionate about what she’s doing at the College, and that she and her colleagues are doing wonderful work in educating our future health care providers,” said Franklin. “The judges loved that everything was evidence-based, everything went back to the research, so that set her apart. We’re doing lots of great things around the state, but she stood out.”