BSN Students Collaborate with Engineering

Nursing students in blue scrubs count surgery items in a mock simulation while other students watch

In late February, students in the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program collaborated with Masters of Engineering and Management students from the Case Western Reserve University School of Engineering on an engineering course project that seeks to develop a product or process that could reduce retained surgical items during surgical procedures to improve healthcare outcomes.

Retained surgical items, or RSIs, are those common surgical instruments, tools, devices or surgical gauze unintentionally left inside a body cavity at the completion of a procedure. 

The engineering management students visited the perioperative lab in the Health Education Campus where nursing students gave a presentation describing standard operating room procedures, how nurses interact with surgeons, and the disparities of these processes that plague ORs across the country.

The group of engineering students included Marion Hartwell, Daniella Rupert, Jenna Wagner and Camila Castro.

Following the presentation, the nursing students simulated various operation procedures and how easy it is for items to go missing or be misplaced throughout an operation. The engineering students were able to ask questions, take notes and interact with the nursing students throughout the process.

Jill Byrne, assistant professor at the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing, oversaw the simulations and presentation.

Students sit in a circle inside a nursing lab at CWRU
A nursing student in mask explains standard operating room procedures
Engineering students watch nursing students perform mock lab
Students on left watch as nursing students in full scrubs perform a mock lab surgery
Students participate in mock surgery lab class
4 Female students look over a table filled with nursing instruments while a white coat instructor oversees