On the 21st February 2019, pharmacy, occupational therapy and physiotherapy students came together for a one day inter-professional symposium on the holistic management of patients who fall. The breaking down barrier team, kindly lent the School of Pharmacy their visual impairment glasses, bariatric suit and elderly simulation suits. The students wore the visual impairment glasses and attempted to read and complete a NHS menu choice form, then read the label on a box of medicine and the patient information leaflet inside. Students (in pairs – one wearing the glasses and ear plugs, one as a safety guide) then walked around the Palmer building and the quad, identifying and reflecting on any hazards and difficulties experienced.
Students then put on the bariatric and elderly simulation suits. Students began by lying on the floor, as though they had fallen, and attempted to get back up. Once up, the students complete a series of physiotherapy rehabilitation tasks. The simulation suits made all these tasks more challenging for students, in particular struggling to get up off the floor and tiring quicker.
The feedback from students was very positive for the simulation activities, they stated they enjoyed putting themselves in the patients’ eyes/body and they have a much better appreciation of the challenges patients face. They also identified ways as healthcare professionals they could make changes to help these patients e.g. reading out the menu choices, large-print labels for medicines and modifying physiotherapy exercises.
We would like to thank the breaking down barriers team for the loan of the equipment, sharing ideas and staff training before-hand. We look forward to running this symposium each year, and would be happy to share any teaching material with other departments.
Catherine Langran, Lecturer, School of Pharmacy firstname.lastname@example.org