Education event brings disciplines together to improve patient care

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. — An April event hosted by Pennsylvania College of Technology’s School of Health Sciences brought together students from nine majors to simulate patient care.

“The event emphasized the importance of collaboration among health care professionals in providing optimal patient care,” said Larissa D. Whitney, instructor of physician assistant studies, who led the team coordinating the event.

Over two days, 230 students worked together on simulated patient cases to evaluate, diagnose and provide treatment to mock patients portrayed by senior-level physician assistant students.

The cases took students throughout School of Health Sciences learning laboratories — and other areas of campus — as patients and their health care providers moved through mock emergency departments, hospital medical-surgical floors, operating suites, physical and occupational therapy facilities, a dental hygiene clinic and pre-hospital scenarios (emergency medical services).

When not “treating” a patient, students observed the action of others.

Each case concluded with a faculty-facilitated debriefing session. Thirty college faculty and staff members assisted with the event.

“An overwhelming number of students expressed a new understanding of collaboration and the roles of health care professionals in providing patient care,” Whitney said.

The Penn College School of Health Sciences has been coordinating an Interdisciplinary Professional Education event since 2014 to prepare its students to deliberatively work together with professionals in other disciplines as patients interact with each of them during their health care experience, with an ultimate goal to improve patient care.

The School of Health Sciences offers degrees in applied health studies, dental hygiene, emergency medical services, health information technology, nursing, occupational therapy assistant, physical therapist assistant, physician assistant, radiography and surgical technology. To learn more, call 570-327-4519 or visit

For information about Penn College, a national leader in applied technology education, visit, email or call toll-free 800-367-9222.

Last Updated May 03, 2018