STAT!: Simulation, Training, and Teamwork

On a bright spring morning in March, students and faculty gathered in the Grand Lobby on the campus of Trinity Christian College for the third annual interdisciplinary simulation known as STAT!: Simulation, Training, and Teamwork. This unique event aimed to engage students in developing their professional identity and competency in communication and problem-solving across various disciplines.

Led by six dedicated faculty members representing four disciplines—Social Work, Nursing, Education, and Clinical Counseling—STAT! provided students with a safe environment to practice and hone their skills through real-world scenarios. The primary objective was to foster collaboration among students from different fields, allowing them to work together to solve complex challenges without the fear of causing harm.

This year’s simulation focused on extreme heat temperatures in the rural community of Trollsboro. Building upon the success of previous simulations, which tackled issues such as a chemical spill and lead poisoning, the faculty designed scenarios that tested students’ ability to respond effectively to crises.

The interdisciplinary nature of the simulation was made possible through collaborative grants from Trinity’s Faculty Development Committee. This investment enabled faculty members to create immersive learning experiences that mirrored the complexities of professional environments.

Following the event, students expressed their enthusiasm and engagement with the collaboration. One student emailed her professor to share her positive experience, stating, “I had a lot of fun and was super engaged with the exercise.” Another student highlighted the value of learning to collaborate with professionals from other fields, emphasizing the importance of interdisciplinary teamwork in addressing societal challenges.

Faculty members also noted the success of STAT! “It has been remarkable to see students from four different professions learning to communicate and solve problems together. I am always struck by how professional and focused our students are and how the exercise shows how Christians can model good communication skills to make a difference in solving the world’s problems,” stated Dr. Bill Boerman-Cornell, Professor of Education.

Dr. Cini Bretzlaff-Holstein, Director of the Online BSW Program and Professor of Social Work, emphasized the life-giving nature of collaboration among faculty and students. She said, “Planning, preparing, and facilitating any experiential learning experience for students is always energizing, but this interdisciplinary simulation in which Trinity faculty across disciplines collaborate is a whole other level of energizing work. We six faculty from four different disciplines engage in our own form of interdisciplinary work, giving us opportunities to think about how our collaborative efforts in which we brainstorm together, think creatively and innovatively together, and share different responsibilities based on our strengths and gifts mirror what we want for our students in their interdisciplinary simulation experience.”

As the day drew to a close, it was clear that the students and faculty recognized immense value in this collaboration exercise. This time together served as a testament to the power of interdisciplinary education in shaping future professionals equipped to tackle the world’s most pressing challenges. STAT! had once again proven to be a transformative experience for all involved, paving the way for continued growth and innovation in interdisciplinary learning at Trinity Christian College.

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