Kettering University Pre-Med students learn to recognize heart attack and stroke

Kettering University Pre-Med students learned to recognize signs of heart attacks and strokes during their third workshop at Covenant HealthCare SYNAPSE Simulation Center in January. The simulation center is affiliated with Central Michigan University’s (CMU’s) School of Medicine.

During the four-hour workshop, along with learning to recognize warning signs and symptoms, students also practiced and received training on how to act fast when faced with people suffering from these life-threatening conditions.

The workshop is one of eight workshops that have been designed specifically for Kettering’s Pre-Med students to provide hands-on medical training for various emergency situations.

“One of our main goals for Kettering’s Pre-Med program is to provide opportunities for our students that will not only enhance their Pre-Med education, but also give them a leg up over their peers when applying to medical schools,” said Dr. Stacy Seeley, Department Head of Chemistry and Biochemistry and Director of the Pre-Med Program. “I believe these training workshops help give our students this competitive edge and also generate a lot of excitement towards their future careers in medicine.”

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heart disease and stroke are two of the top killers in the United States for both men and women. Recognizing warning signs and responding quickly is absolutely critical to saving lives.

Students learned how to stabilize heart attack and stroke sufferers until emergency medical care is available. They also learned about pre-hospital emergency care and assessment, as well as emergency room assessment and treatment. Students were taught how to take vital signs and a medical history, how to read and interpret an electrocardiogram and other lab tests to diagnose a heart attack and how to read a CT scan to diagnose ischemic and hemorrhagic strokes.

“These workshops continue to be tremendous experiences. Each workshop builds off the previous and I can genuinely say my confidence has risen with each workshop,” said Kyle Root ’18, a Biochemistry major who is in the Pre-Med Program.

Later, the students were broken up into small groups and each group participated in two different emergency simulations. The first utilized the SimMan 3G human patient simulator who was suffering from a heart attack.

Kettering University students learn how to recognize strokes and heart attacks during a workshop at CMU.

"The professionals at the sim center give us a small taste of the skills required for saving lives. Then we get to directly test what we learned in a controlled environment,” said Caleb Szymanski ’18, a Biochemistry major who is in the Pre-Med Program. “It makes for an exciting and challenging simulation.”

The second simulation involved human subjects that were played by fourth year medical students from CMU’s School of Medicine. One of the actors played an older woman that was suffering from an ischemic stroke and unable to communicate. The other actor played her early 20s daughter, who was terrified and did not understand what was happening to her mother. After participating in the simulations, each group was debriefed on their simulated experience so that they could receive impactful feedback on how to improve.

“I benefited the most from the human subject simulation played by the actors,” said Allison Seeley ’19, a Biochemistry major in the Pre-Med Program. “This simulation taught us how important patient-centered care is as opposed to problem-centered care.  I made the mistake of focusing on the test results and forgot about the importance of building a rapport and trust with the patient and family members.”

Kettering students will return to the Covenant SYNAPSE Simulation Center in April for the next workshop, which will focus on bleeding emergencies.