More than 400 students from the UMKC School of Medicine, School of Pharmacy, School of Dentistry and School of Nursing and Health Studies have taken part this fall in five interprofessional education sessions of the Missouri Community Action Poverty Simulation.
In each simulation, about 80 students act as people living for a month in poverty. Students are assigned to families and receive a description of their role and goals of the simulation. They work to keep their home, pay all bills, keep their jobs, and feed their family each day. Some students serve as teenagers or young children and are asked to behave as their character descriptions.
Participants receive challenges such as an illness in the family, expenses to repair their plumbing, and getting robbed or fired. Students spend four “weeks” living in poverty. Each “week” lasts 15 minutes. There are stations around the room for students to visit to help meet their goals, such as the employer, a “Foodarama” for groceries, a health care center, child care, community action agency, inter-faith services, social services, and a pawn shop and quick cash business.
The simulation is required for students pursuing M.D., D.D.S. B.S.N., Pharm.D. and P.A. degrees. Doctor of Nursing Practice graduate students help run the simulations along with past participants and volunteer faculty and staff.
The final session this semester took place on Nov. 11.