The ViewPoint

Medical students practice team building for emergency situations

Marissa Lute

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Additional reporting and pictures by: Llolanda Hernandez, Otis Seiler, and Seth Johanson.

When there is an emergency, people in all areas of the healthcare profession respond from surrounding communities. They have to work together, even if they do not know each other. The Health and Wellness Division from Northeast Community College brought students together November 5 in the Lifelong Learning Center to recreate that type of situation, and show them how to work under pressure. The students came from the nursing, physical therapist assistant, and paramedic programs, as well as Health Information Management Systems (HIMS) and the University of Nebraska Medical Center Northern Division (UNMC).

Northeast Community College team building exercise

Medical students from Northeast Community College and UNMC Northern Division try to re-create an image using one-way and two-way communication

HIMS Instructor, Tina Mazuch, says for the past three semesters the Health and Wellness Division has sponsored this Inter-professional Exercise. Students were divided up into jobs – an observer, an architect, a runner and a builder – with the goal being to place different medical items exactly where they appeared in the picture that they were given.


looking at pic

Early in the exercise, students could only use one-way communication. Hannah Burbach, a pre-nursing Junior with UNMC, said “it was kind of awkward at first, because a lot of us didn’t know each other.” As an observer, she said using just one-way communication was really rough, because the team creating the picture could only receive the information second-hand.

Hannah Burbach (r), pre-nursing UNMC junior consults with her team

Hannah Burbach (r), pre-nursing UNMC junior consults with her team

About midway through the exercise, the students were allowed to use two-way communication, communicating back and forth.


Brenda Rios, Nursing student and architect for team building exercise

Student Brenda Rios was an architect, the person giving the instructions. She said the exercise will help communication between medical students because that is a big part of their job.

Looking at Instructions

Medical students try to figure out how to describe the picture to those who can’t see it


Mazuch said, “I enjoyed watching them work together. I thought it was interesting how they were communicating with each other. They were hurriedly running back and forth, trying to see if it looked right. I thought it was interesting to see what they came up with.”

Timothy Brogan discusses HIPAA

Lawyer Timothy Brogan talked to the students about HIPAA

Earlier in the evening, the students heard from lawyer, Timothy Brogan, who discussed HIPAA and the ramifications to health practitioners for not following policies. Towards the end of the night, it was determined that Team Fourteen won the challenge, and they were awarded prizes for being the most accurate to the original picture.

Additional reporting and pictures by: Llolanda Hernadez, Otis Seiler, and Seth Johanson.

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About the Writer
Marissa Lute, Editor
Staff Job Title: Editor-in-Chief Major: Mass Media Hometown: Laurel, NE About: I graduated from Laurel-Concord-Coleridge High School, and I am currently a sophomore here at Northeast Community College. My mom’s side of the family has been in the newspaper business for many years, so that makes me a fifth generation journalist! I’m also a self-proclaimed coffee enthusiast! 🙂
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Medical students practice team building for emergency situations