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ASPIRIN (Assess Simulated Presentation Involving Realistic Injury Now)

By Jerry Citron

Type of activity:

  • Hands on
  • Simulation
  • Authentic Assessment
  • Group/cooperative learning
  • Review / reinforcement

Target audience:

  • Life Science
  • Biology
  • Anatomy and Physiology


ASPIRIN is designed to integrate concepts in general biology and general chemistry with clinical and emergency medicine on its most fundamental level This entails developing models and lesson plans that aid in incorporating the clinical medical model into various biology courses. In addition, this will enhance student understanding of why symptoms appear as they do and the physiological ramifications of the illnesses discussed in class. Ultimately the mastery of these fundamental medical skills is put to test when students apply their knowledge in role playing situations.


Objectives of ASPIRIN( Assess Simulated Presentation Involving Realistic Injury Now).

  1. Students will be able to learn to integrate biology and chemistry into a medical framework.

  2. Interpret observations and data and evaluate their hypotheses in the light of the data obtained.

  3. Make appropriate diagnosis and recommend treatment.

  4. Develop active listening skills.

  5. Develop a cooperative learning ethic in which students experience the benefits of working together in brainstorming, problem-solving and diagnosing illness.

  6. Improve note taking and narrative writing skills.

The project works with class sizes of 34 students divided in teams of 3-4, although smaller class sizes makes the logistics of the project more manageable. The preparation time for the project is six to eight weeks. It is crucial that students understand and plan for aspirin weeks before the actual event takes place. To prime students,teacher modeling of medical scenarios, role playing with students and recorded videos of emergency shows for class analysis and discussion are key elements to providing the blueprints that students can use in aspirin. Once groups are established and enough medical information is covered, students start creating senerios. When all students have satisfactorily submitted written scripts, aspirin takes one - two weeks.



  • Natural sized human Torso

  • Sphygmomanometers

  • stethoscope

  • EKG/ Defibrillator ( optional )

  • Backboards

  • Hemacytometer

  • Audio lung/heart sounds

  • Brain Trauma overheads

  • Hemoglobin test kits


The class is divided into 11 emergency teams and each team is responsible for creating a simulated emergency and must be prepared to respond to another team's simulated event without warning. Each team submits an event proposal, written as a script inclusive of all the appropriate medical details. In addition, each member of the team will investigate the physiological ramifications of the event and write a one-page paper on the event. Teams will be given specific dates on which the teacher will ring the desk bell and member/s will perform the event as if it were real. The teacher will choose another team at random from the medical bag to take the case. Teams are required to meet regularly to discuss and role-play emergency medical situations. Students have ten minutes to complete the diagnosis. Assessment is accomplished by averaging the grade the class and the teacher gives to both the presenters and the diagnostic team. This is accomplished by submitting to the students a standardized critique/value sheet in which students give points for various procedures performed correctly, creative approaches, use and delivery of medical information, complexity of case, etc. A well-done scenario earns the simulators a 100%, factored in as a test grade and a thorough analysis and ball park diagnosis and course of treatment is worth the same amount.

Instructions and Criteria for Project ASPIRIN. ( Guidelines for students )

    In order to receive a grade of 100 the following should be satisfied.

  1. A typed script of the medical scenario must be submitted a week prior to the performance of the event.

  2. The script should include all of the following:

    1. Title: What is the medical event being performed.

    2. Describe setting ( time of day, indoor/outdoor, cold/hot, etc.) , mechanism of injury, characters (who will be responsible for what in the preformance of the simulated event, type of personality exhibited) and materials involved.

  3. Development of script should include all of the following:

    1. Dialogue, written as a play

    2. Thoroughly organized and full of good medical language

    3. A full elucidation of the important vital signs.

    4. Accurate delivery of care (The only aspect of the scenario you will preform is the patient in distress component. However, the script which entails all facets of the emergency serves as a comparison to see how well other teams diagnoses and treat your simulated case.)

  4. An analysis of the medical problem you simulated. Why do the symptoms present themselves as they do? Know the physiological reasons. Identify and explain post care problems associated with the diagnosis.


  5. Performance Criteria:

    Each team will be given a performance date that they will keep secret. The date and the simulated event must be kept secret within the team to be fair to all teams.

    On the day that you will present the case, a bell will sound any time during the class and you will get to it. Be creative. Things to consider:

    1. How will you demonstrate the mechanism of injury so that the team randomly chosen to take the case will have real information to aid the the diagnosis and care of the patient.

    2. How will you apply the post-its so as to not give you day away.

Method of Evaluation/Assessment

General Assessment of critical thinking and intellectual engagement is accomplished by comparing individual students reports, exam grades, class participation and scenario grades to determine if the ASPIRIN project enhances anatomical and physiological understandings.

An example of an Aspirin assessment can be accomplished using a simple score sheet for teacher use. 
Team Diagnosis Assessment
Primary assessment score(1-10) Total____
History assessment score (1-10) Total____
Secondary Assessment score(1-10) Total____
Member Teamwork score( 1-10) Total___
Diagnosis Determination score(1-10) Total____
Case presentation assessment score. Circle
Authenticity-Mediocre/Adequate/Convincing/Very Realistic. ( 1-15) Total ___
Orchestration-Unprepared/Poorly prepared/Adequate/Superb (1-15) Total ___
Delivery of Medical Info.- Poor,confusing to follow/fair/missing pertinent information/Good/Excellent. (1-15) Total ___
Use of props (1-5) Total ___
Total out of 100____

Extension/Reinforcement/ Additional Ideas

In addition to ASPIRIN students can role play bioethical issues involving doctor/patient relationships. Students debate and analyze the issues in class.

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