2016 Family Medicine Experience

Children's Hospital Outing Offers Hands-on Learning

September 30, 2016 03:09 pm David Mitchell Orlando, Fla. –

Orthopedic technician Daniel Biggers demonstrates splinting techniques in an Out and About session during the 2016 Family Medicine Experience. Participants in the Sept. 23 session at Nemours Children's Hospital in Orlando, Fla., included (from left) Vanessa Villacorta-Sierra, M.D., of Chicago; Anna Kliner, FNP-C, of Chicago; and Tamara Kermani, D.O., of Millersburg, Ind.

With so many ways to earn CME -- journal articles, lectures, webinars and more -- the AAFP continues to look for innovative ways to offer unique, engaging learning opportunities.

The recent Family Medicine Experience (FMX), held here Sept. 20-24, marked the third year the Academy has offered Out and About courses that give attendees the opportunity to explore topics in depth outside a lecture hall.

The Adolescent Sports Injury, Concussion and Office Emergency Simulation took participants to Nemours Children's Hospital for a four-hour course that started with a lecture about concussions by Sarah Gibson, M.D., of Orlando, and ended with three workshops.

"I liked how it was set up," said Krista Rankin, M.D., of Tallahassee, Fla. "We weren't just sitting there the whole time. It was a good experience."

Rankin, an urgent care physician, said the concussion lecture was her primary reason for attending.

Story Highlights
  • An Out and About CME session during this year's Family Medicine Experience took participants to Nemours Children's Hospital.
  • The session included a lecture on concussion that included diagnosis, management and return-to-play recommendations.
  • The trip also included workshops on splinting, office emergencies and sports injuries.

Gibson, who specializes in physical medicine and rehabilitation, covered signs and symptoms of concussion, screening tools, management, return-to-play recommendations, prevention and more

Her key points were the following:

  • Patients do not have to have direct impact to the head to sustain a concussion.
  • Patients do not have to have loss of consciousness to sustain a concussion.
  • Never return a concussed individual to physical activity while he or she is still symptomatic.
  • Never return an athlete to physical activity within 24 hours of a concussion, even if he or she is asymptomatic.
  • The younger the patient, the more conservative the return-to-play approach should be.
  • School-aged patients should be able to tolerate a full academic load while maintaining their grades before they begin a stepwise return-to-play protocol.

After the lecture, attendees broke up into groups of six for three different workshops. Gibson was the instructor for one of them, which covered musculoskeletal exams. She used attendee volunteers to demonstrate how to assess range of motion and other factors as well as what treatment and imaging might be needed based on results.

"The small-group setting was helpful," said Anna Kliner, FNP-C, of Chicago. "Having people who are experts and are helpful in a hands-on way is invaluable. You can read an article in a journal, but the informal conversation, complemented with hands-on learning, removes barriers to bringing it back to your own practice."

In another session, emergency medicine physician Shiva Kalidindi, M.D., M.P.H., of Orlando, demonstrated some low-tech solutions -- such as hair apposition to close scalp wounds, using a Katz extractor to remove foreign bodies and using packing strips and an ear curette to remove rings from fingers -- before moving on to more difficult issues like using automated external defibrillators and EpiPens.

Kalidindi demonstrated several conditions with a toddler simulator that could imitate seizures and other medical conditions. In one instance, Kalidindi said the child needed oxygen, but the health professionals in the group hesitated and looked at each other. That, Kalidindi said, is why medical staffs should meet on a regular basis to discuss where tools and medications are located and who is responsible for various tasks in specific situations.

"I always appreciate practical things, and the little things he said like being organized and prepared for emergencies," said Vanessa Villacorta-Sierra, M.D., who works with Kliner at a school-based, federally qualified health center in Chicago. "Why not have a plan? You shouldn't be looking for a syringe in the middle of an emergency."

Another session involved splinting with orthopedic technician Daniel Biggers, who demonstrated on a mannequin before attendees practiced on each other.

"That was amazing," Villacorta-Sierra said of the Out and About course. "It was extremely helpful, concise and well organized. I appreciate all the expertise of the staff. I loved the hands-on experience."