An Inside Look at CWRU MSA Boot Camp

As new students in the Master of Science in Anesthesia Program at Case Western Reserve University, first-years begin the summer semester with a three-week “Boot Camp.” Developed by CWRU instructors, Boot Camp is a unique approach that immerses students in didactic instruction, lectures, and simulation lab.

Clinical exposure immediately follows Boot Camp, and students report feeling confident and prepared as they enter the operating room in the first month of coursework.

During Boot Camp, simulation labs are paired with “live” practice days that provide students with additional opportunities for honing their skills. Recently, our Washington, D.C. program held a “Live IV Day.”

Prior to the live day, students participated in labs where they were introduced to IVs, tubing, and proper preparation of the equipment. They applied those techniques to mannequin training arms. On Live IV Day, they had the opportunity to practice placing IVs on one another and volunteers, including recent graduates and faculty members.

Ashish Patel, Director of Simulation and one of the key faculty leaders of Boot Camp in Washington, noted, “As CAAs, we are a part of the anesthesia care team. Any member of the team can place IVs in patients. It's a necessary and essential part of what we do. In the middle of a surgery that may have unanticipated blood loss, part of our job is to establish additional IV access to help stabilize the patient.”

While routine in nature, the ability to efficiently install IVs in the operating room can have lifesaving results for some patients. Since students were able to practice on one another, they also had the opportunity to feel what it’s like to be a patient, and to be on the receiving end of the IV. Students walked away from the opportunity with a deep sense of preparation for their clinical rotations and important insight into patient care.

Browse the gallery below to see moments from Washington’s Live IV Day.