Dr. Branden Nemecek & Dr. David Zimmerman Recognized Win 2019 Creative Teaching Award

Nemcek, Zimmerman Creative Teaching AwardSchool of Pharmacy Associate Professors of Pharmacy Practice Dr. Branden Nemecek and Dr. David Zimmerman received a 2019 Creative Teaching Award at the annual Celebration of Teaching Excellence on April 11 for developing a course titled Implementation of 'Mock Wards' Simulation for Enhancing Student Preparedness in Acute Care II Pharmacy Elective.

Creative Teaching Awards recognize innovative ways of teaching impactful on student learning at Duquesne University. A panel of faculty from across the university evaluates submissions on three categories: innovativeness, student learning and scope of innovation. Winning projects receive a $1,000 prize and winners participate in a past award winners' panel the following Fall.

"Receiving this award is a true honor," said Dr. Nemecek. "Dr. Zimmerman and I were given the keys to this course created by Drs. Keys and Livengood and allowed to be creative with how we educate our students. It demonstrates that, with the support of volunteers and peers, we can provide our students an immersive experience to prepare them for their APPE rotations. The best part is hearing students on their APPEs or after graduate comment on how the simulation helped them prepare for experiences ahead."

Nemcek, Zimmerman Creative Teaching Award 2

The Mock Wards simulation takes place in the Acute Care II elective course in the third professional year of the pharmacy program. The goal of the simulation is provide a real-world rounding environment in the Bayer Learning Center Building. Students are placed into groups of four to six to "round" and are given complex patient cases with multiple disease states they work up prior to rounding.

This is to simulate and practice the real world environment where efficiency is key in assessing and interpreting patient disease states, laboratory and radiographic information, and medications. Each group of students then goes on rounds with their attending who could be a clinical pharmacy specialist, pharmacy resident, or a medical resident where they have to communicate patient care recommendations or counseling effectively and provide rationale for their recommendations.

Additional volunteers will play the parts of patients, nurses, or consult team members. A surprise patient is added, played by a SimMan, to simulate a cardiac arrest and students must use their ACLS training to resuscitate the patient. The entire simulation lasts about two hours and students then debrief for a discussion on the experience.

"Receiving this award is a validation of the team effort that is needed by volunteers and faculty members Drs. Pat Keys and Bruce Livengood who created the Acute Care Elective and allowed myself and Dr. Nemecek the ability to create immersive simulation environments," Dr. Zimmerman said.

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and horizon-expanding education. A campus of nearly 8,500 graduate and undergraduate students, Duquesne prepares students by having them work alongside faculty to discover and reach their goals. The University’s academic programs, community service, and commitment to equity and opportunity in the Pittsburgh region have earned national acclaim.

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