UNC School of Medicine hosts medical simulation for Carolina Athletics

Coaches and sports administrators participate in stressful simulation exercises to prepare themselves for the worst medical emergencies they might see.

UNC School of Medicine hosts medical simulation for Carolina Athletics click to enlarge Members of the UNC Athletic Department run through stressful simulations at the UNC School of Medicine.

Media contact: Caroline Curran, (984) 974-1146, caroline.curran@unchealth.unc.edu

CHAPEL HILL, NC— As if there weren’t already enough pressure on the sidelines of a collegiate athletic event, the UNC School of Medicine put coaches’ and athletics administrators’ nerves to the test during a “mini-medical” training simulation on Wednesday.

Benny Joyner Jr., MD, MPH, vice chairman and clinical associate professor in pediatric critical care medicine, said the exercise was intended to give coaches “a taste of what it’s like” to participate in some of the most challenging situations medical providers encounter at the hospital and in the school of medicine.

Coaches and athletic staff were involved in medical tasks such as IV placement, airway management, CPR and defibrillation. If it sounds stressful, the training organizers did their jobs well. The goal of Wednesday’s training event was to promote a highly stressful teambuilding event to promote communication during even the most difficult circumstances.

Julie Messina, co-director of the UNC School of Medicine Clinical Skills and Patient Simulation Center, which was the host site of the training, said the exercise offered coaches and administrators a "chance to get their hands dirty,” while gaining an understanding of the everyday pressures of medicine.

"We're giving all the coaches and athletic directors a chance to come together to get some insight into what we do, while having a chance for teamwork and communication," Messina said. 

The coaches and administrators were divided into three groups. Joyner’s group was tasked with the simulation of intubating an infant while Joyner played the role of a distraught father looking for answers.

Rick Steinbacher, senior associate athletic director for external communications, was a member of Joyner’s team.

“It felt different being that it was a baby,” Steinbacher said during a post-scenario debriefing with Joyner. “Even though it’s a mannequin, it’s still a baby. “But I feel like everybody adjusted pretty darn well pretty quickly.”

The next training event is scheduled for Aug. 10. 

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