Nursing students attend boot camp

At the start of the academic year, Maryanne Barra, Associate Professor in the College of Nursing, led a day-long workshop for nursing student residents at Barnabas Medical Center, Livingston, N.J. The workshop titled “Internal Medicine Boot Camp 2018,” was launched at the request of Dr. Sagar, Chief Resident at Barnabas Medical Center with the primary objective of providing practical skills training in the simulation center prior to beginning clinical rotations.

Photo via wikimedia

Seton Hall Alumna Samantha Singh Hernandez, (M.S.N.’13), Regional Director, Northeastern Simulation Center at Barnabas Medical Center, and former student of Dr. Barra, co-taught the cross-professional program.

The cooperation between Dr. Barra, Ms. Singh Hernandez, and Chief Resident Sagar was paramount to the successful implementation of the workshop, which offered first year interns an opportunity to gain experience in basic medical procedures.

The program began with a pre-test in order to gauge and refresh the intern’s knowledge of clinical applications followed by lecture.

The rest of the workshop included Dr. Barra demonstrating clinical skills followed by the interns doing it themselves for hands-on learning on task trainers, lifelike models of various body parts.

Skills taught included IV etiquette, from spiking to starting the IV, venipuncture, sampling for arterial blood gas (ABG) analysis, identification of blood vials, and insertion of urinary and nasogastric (NG) catheters.

“Initially the interns felt uncomfortable with these basic procedures,” said Dr. Barra. “But as the hours passed and practice continued, they became adept with these skills.”

Supervising the interns were nurse educators, who helped instruct and guide the interns while also evaluating the proficiency of technique.

The secondary objective of the “Boot Camp” was to help the interns gain confidence in their knowledge, noted in the doctor-patient relationship by Dr. Barra and Ms. Singh Hernandez.

“The internal medicine residents that participated in this nurse educator led ‘Boot Camp’ contributed in reducing a silo-like atmosphere among other healthcare providers,” noted Dr. Barra, “Historically each health care “silo” worked in a solitary manner. Nurse Educators teaching and collaborating with interns during their orientation week provided a foundation for teamwork much earlier in a professional environment.”

Barnabas Medical Center has indicated that the hospital will sponsor events similar to the “Internal Medicine Boot Camp 2018” in the future.

“These new interns were very receptive to learning necessary skills from nurse educators,” Dr. Barra said. “This Boot Camp not only provided clinical practice but opened the lines of communication that fostered interdisciplinary relationships. Interns arrived with medical knowledge combined with anxiety due to a lack of preparedness for their clinical skills role. They left with newfound confidence acquiring core clinical skill abilities with a strong foundation to build upon.”

Nicholas Kerr can be reached at

Author: Nicholas Alfano

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