CareOne Partners with Physician Assistant Students from Seton Hall and Practical Nursing Students from Berkeley College
FORT LEE, NJ — April 24, 2014 — As a premier network of senior care centers throughout New Jersey, CareOne is furthering its reputation as a skilled, allied-health teaching center in partnership with two highly regarded, educational institutions — Seton Hall University and Berkeley College. “By opening our doors as a clinical site to these future Physician Assistants (PAs) and Practical Nurses (PNs), everyone benefits,” stated Daniel E. Straus, Chief Executive Officer of CareOne. “Our transitional care environment and specialized programs provide unique practical experiences for students, and they, in turn, enhance our progressive model of patient care.”
Diverse Clinical Opportunities at CareOne
Given the level of acuity of patients coming directly from the hospital to CareOne, students are exposed to a wide range of settings. As a result, they are able to gain a higher level of clinical experience in an advanced delivery-of-care system. “The clinicians associated with CareOne are top notch, and they provide our students with the exposure, education, guidance, and clinical experience needed to become outstanding Physician Assistants,” says Abby L. Saunders, Director of Clinical Education at Seton Hall School of Health and Medical Sciences. “The students are exposed to many areas of opportunity within CareOne including LTACHs, physical rehabilitation, sub-acute rehab, geriatrics, and a variety of different types of care through the medical side such as stroke, wound care, oncology, hospice, respiratory care, and more.”
Margaret Nolan, VP of Clinical Program Development at CareOne, adds, “Hospitals are now more focused on critical care, so we’re filling the void to meet the needs of patients who require a higher level of care and to take on the role and responsibilities of the medical/surgical floors that previously existed at the hospital level — we are truly partnering with the hospitals and, in many ways, CareOne is emerging as the community hospital of yesteryear.” As a result, more clinical learning opportunities now exist at CareOne centers for those on their way to becoming medical professionals.
Connecting with the Faculty and the Center
“To help bridge the gap between what students are studying in class and what’s going on in practice, our didactic instructors are also our clinical instructors,” according to Elizabeth Fitzgerald, Department Chair of the Nursing Program at Berkeley College. “Under the direct supervision of the instructor, and with the diverse clinical capabilities of CareOne, our students will learn to interact with people as accomplished professionals, and we’re very excited about that!” Currently there are 150 students enrolled in the Practical Nurse Program at Berkeley College, which requires 144 hours per term in the clinical setting over a period of 4 terms.
The Seton Hall PA program provides more clinical exposure than most, a full 60 weeks. In the first year, students observe patients, obtain histories, and perform physical exams, while intensive core clinical experiences begin in the second year. Ms. Saunders reports, “Our program produces extremely high-quality Physician Assistants that we are proud to have represent us in the clinical world. The intensity is no different than a medical school program, but is somewhat shorter in duration in terms of clinical rotations.”
State-of-The-Art Clinical Training and Care
As leaders of care with excellent clinical outcomes, CareOne is supporting the training of future healthcare professionals with optimal clinical settings and skilled professionals. “The resources, coordination, and follow up in CareOne centers provide the quality care that patients and their families deserve,” Ms. Saunders continues, “The medical care, social work aspects, and follow up care capabilities are considerably more cohesive than in the hospital systems. It is a full circle experience for our students — a goldmine for learning!”
In preparation for patient interaction as PNs, students in the Berkeley College Nursing Program have the opportunity to engage with a state-of-the-art, 3D patient simulator named Sam. “Sam is like the Rolls Royce of simulator mannequins,” says Ms. Fitzgerald. “His built-in computer allows him to do things like talk, blink, breathe, and respond to medication. Every student, who graduates from the Berkeley College program, will have experienced a range of symptoms and conditions with Sam, from low blood sugar to heart attack.” Ms. Fitzgerald enthusiastically looks forward to the CareOne/Berkeley College partnership. “This is the marriage of two organizations that have quality at the forefront — CareOne provides quality patient care, and Berkeley provides quality student education. We look forward to being in an environment that is open to looking at the healthcare landscape in new ways!”