Interdepartmental collaboration highlight of simulation exercise

Lisa Maliska, class of 2017

Students and faculty in nursing, psychology and theater participated in a one-day, end-of-life simulation experience at the Brenau East simulation center on March 5. The scenario was an expected death of a hospice patient, which offered the junior nursing students the opportunity to participate in a realistic experience caring for a dying patient and their loved ones.

During the simulated experience a group of theater professionals and students, including Kyle Cantrell, Maggie Todd, Maleah Boyd, Hannah Love, Kathleen Waters and Ty Martin, portrayed the patient’s family members, displaying realistic emotional reactions during the death of their loved one. The objective was for the nursing students to provide quality care for the dying patient while offering emotional support and comfort to the family members.

After each simulated end-of-life experience, a detailed debriefing session was conducted by graduate psychology students Daphney Predvil, Laura Aiken, Michael Taylor, Lashea Hollis and Alexandrea Le. The debriefing sessions provide students with a process to confidentially discuss the experience. Brenau Counselor Gay Baldwin was also in attendance to provide student support during this intense experience. Graduate psychology students Shaneka Hutchinson, Sarah Pratts, and Shena Turner are conducting a thesis study on the impact of a death and dying simulation on nursing students’ levels of empathy, fear of death and attitude toward caregiving.

Brenau faculty responsible for the planning and development of this event include Gary Bauman, Margie Gill, Ann Demling, Gay Baldwin and Jane Buffington, and it could not have been successfully conducted without the assistance of professors Monica Pozowicz and Suzanne Gilmore.

This simulation experience was difficult for the theater department and nursing faculty as we missed one of our own, Lisa Maliska, who died Feb. 21 and was instrumental in the initiation of our first death and dying simulations. She was very dedicated to this experience as she continued as a theater volunteer even after graduating from Brenau in 2017. Thank you Lisa for your dedication and service to this experience. You will never be forgotten.

Interdepartmental Collaboration: Death and Dying Simulation Experience

Students and faculty in nursing, psychology and theater participated in a one-day, end-of-life simulation experience in the Brenau East simulation lab. The experience, held on Nov. 11, offered junior-level nursing students the opportunity to experience a “realistic” simulated end-of-life scenario. This experience prepares the health care professional students for the process of caring for dying patients and their loved ones.

During the simulation experience, theater professionals Lisa Maliska, a Brenau alumna, and Sydney Stasinos, as well as members of the Brenau PsychED club Savannah Benson and Cheyenne Pitts portrayed the patient’s family members. The family members provided the nursing students with emotional feedback during the loss of their mother. The student nurses practiced providing appropriate care to the dying patient and emotional support and comfort to the family members.

A debriefing session follow the simulation. Graduate psychology students Daphney Predvil, Shaneka Hutchinson, Shena Turner, Xiomara Senior and Kaitlyn McLaughlin discussed each session and the effectiveness of the nursing students’ methods. To provide students with another layer of support, Brenau Counselor Gay Baldwin was also present for all the students during this intense experience.

Faculty members Dr. Gary Bauman, Dr. Ann Demling, Margie Gill, Gay Baldwin and Jane Buffington were responsible for planning and executing this event. Dr. Perry Daughtry was instrumental in providing assistance from the PsychED club members. The simulation performance could not have been conducted without the assistance of Christina VanDenHandel and Kevin Crawford, two of the nursing school’s clinical adjunct instructors.

The next end-of-life simulation event will be held in March 2019.

Nu Gamma Induction Ceremony

On Sunday, April 15, the Mary Inez Grindle School of Nursing’s Nu Gamma Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International nursing honor society inducted 15 undergraduate and graduate nursing students. The induction speaker, Dr. Shena Gazaway, is a Brenau alumna as well as the Region 7 Coordinator for STTI.

Gazaway provided an inspirational message to the new Nu Gamma members. She also presented Dr. Dina Hewett, director of the Mary Inez Grindle School of Nursing, with a plaque for Nu Gamma’s 25-year anniversary as a chapter with STTI. Dr. Sandra Greniewicki, who was unable to attend, was honored as one of the original founders of the Nu Gamma Chapter. The school of nursing will proudly post this 25th year plaque at Brenau East with the Nu Gamma Charter certificate.