SCIENCE OF HOCKEY

Like football, hockey has recently come under scrutiny for the alarming rate of head injuries – both among the pros and in youth leagues. With the help of a five-year-old patient simulator and a dozen hard-boiled eggs, students and faculty from Chamberlain’s Phoenix campus recently had the opportunity to educate the public about sport-related concussions.

On Saturday, March 16, Chamberlain participated in “The Science of Hockey,” an event hosted by the Phoenix Coyotes as part of the month-long Arizona SciTech Fest. More than 1,200 people attended the event, which aims to raise awareness of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Four Chamberlain students – Ryan Ciantar, Milan Kimberly, Brittany Reynolds and Lacey Rubenstein – held a booth on the arena concourse highlighting the symptoms and prevention of concussions. As part of their pediatric nursing course, they created a demonstration using a hard-boiled egg in a container of water. The container represented the skull, the egg signified the brain, and the water was the cerebral spinal fluid in which the brain is suspended – allowing the students to create a visual of the damage caused by multiple concussions. Students also had a video, a poster and handouts regarding safety and prevention of concussions.

Meanwhile, in the Coyotes treatment room, clinical lab specialists Carol Bush and Lesley Ellison and visiting professor Tami Hampson reinforced the connection. They showed a video highlighting NHL “hits” during the game and an educational video describing the warning signs and risks of concussions.

While the presenter was reiterating the warning signs, they had “trainers” rush “Jordan” (the 5-year-old patient simulator) in and announce that he had just fallen on the ice and hit his head. A Chamberlain faculty member initiated a neurological exam while carrying on a conversation with Jordan. The audience was very much engaged both with the emergency scene and the manikin performance, said Ellison.

“Tami [Hampson] and I both have daughters who play softball, so we’re constantly reminded of the dangers of concussions and the reporting/clearance policies of the injuries,” said Ellison. “It is a topic overlooked too often and we felt strongly that the Science of Hockey event was the perfect opportunity to further educate the community on an injury which can be life-changing and even fatal for some.”

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