Fordham University            The Jesuit University of New York


Ethics Field Practicum Experience

CEED 5900


Practicum Site: St. Barnabas Hospital

About St. Barnabas:
St. Barnabas Hospital is a not-for-profit, nonsectarian, acute care community hospital and Level I Trauma Center located in the heart of the central Bronx. The expanding St. Barnabas healthcare network provides high-quality inpatient, outpatient and emergency medical, mental health and dental services throughout the Bronx.
  • 461 beds
  • Admits 25,000 patients annually
  • State-designated Regional Trauma Center; authorized to treat the most critically ill and severely injured patients
  • Child Advocacy Center provides multi-disciplinary forensic interviews and diagnostic evaluations for children who are suspected of being abused or neglected; provides community education to ACS, police departments, schools and other community providers
  • Adolescent medicine and teenage prenatal care
  • State-designated AIDS Center featuring comprehensive medical care and case management; in addition, we provide perinatal services for HIV+ women and newborns
  • National St. Barnabas Community Center of Excellence in Women's Health
  • An Emergency Department staffed exclusively by full-time physicians who are residency trained and Board certified in Emergency Medicine
  • Pediatric emergency services staffed by physicians Board certified in pediatrics and pediatric emergency medicine
Visit the St. Barnabas web site for the latest information about the hospital.

Practicum Experience:
The practicum course has 3 components: field experience, weekly meetings of the practicum students, and an independent project. To maximize exposure to a breadth of ethics relevant hospital services,over the course of one semester, for their field experience students will rotate through five services (see description below). Additional services may be added depending on student interests and hospital resources. Students will spend one day per week (approximately five hours) at St. Barnabas, focusing on one rotation per day. Students are also expected to attend weekly Ethics & Society Practicum class meetings held at the Rose Hill campus to discuss assigned readings, their practicum experiences and plan their independent practicum project. This project should be associated with their practicum experiences and complementary to their interests and course and professional background. When appropriate, students may spend additional time at St. Barnabas completing their practicum projects.
Students interested in this practicum experience must meet with the director of the Ethics and Society master's program to discuss the appropriateness of the practicum for the student.  An interview with the physician liaison at St. Barnabas is also required. 

Practicum Rotations:
  1. Psychiatry Service (Dr. Burgess). Students will have the opportunity to accompany physicians and medical students to court for hearings regarding involuntary commitment, treatment refusal, and forensic evaluation. There are also psychiatric consults in the Emergency Department which students can observe. Mandatory day: Wednesday morning.
  2. Emergency Department (ED)/Intensive Care Unit (ICU)/Pediatric Services (Drs. Chang/Stumacher). Students will shadow attending physicians in their work in the ED, ICU, and Pediatrics services. Moral and ethical issues include: how to deliver bad news, how to manage uncooperative patients or patients who refuse treatment, allowing family members to watch emergency procedures, end-of-life care, advance directives (including living wills, health care proxy and do not resuscitate orders), organ procurement and transplantation, and child welfare. Students will be able to schedule this on a day and time which is convenient for them.
  3. Hematology and Oncology Service (Dr. Kornblum). Students will shadow health care professionals and interdisciplinary committees in their work in the hematology and oncology units. Common ethical questions and issues include: end-of-life issues, advance directives (including living wills, health care proxy and do not resuscitate orders), withdrawal of active treatment, patient wishes to alter or terminate treatment, how tobest present information about thedisease and prognosis. Students will be able to schedule this on a weekday that is convenient for them, except for Fridays.
  4. Institutional Review Board (IRB) (Dr. Chang). Students will observe the monthly IRB meeting, where research protocols are reviewed and discussed. Students will also have an opportunity to discuss relevant human subjects and other research protections issues with Dr. Chang and/or members of the IRB. Relevant ethical questions and issues include: informed, guardian, and proxy consent procedures, research with minors and vulnerable populations (including pediatric, psychiatric, or impaired populations), and clinical trials research. Mandatory day: every third Tuesday.
  5. Ethics consults/Ethics Committee Meetings (Dr. Stumacher). Students will accompany Dr. Stumacher on ethics consultations (originating from all services within the hospital) and general rounds. Students will also observe period meetings of the Ethics Committee. Depending on student interest, opportunities are also available to research relevant bioethics issues and policy.
Practicum Project: Students will be provided with a one-month exposure to the representative rotations to orient them to the specific services and relevant issues. Students will then choose a relevant ethical question or issue to research (using resources both at Fordham and St. Barnabas). Students will present their projects at an end-of-semester seminar with staff and students at St. Barnabas.

Student Requirements:
  1. Attend practicum site one day per week (approximately five hours) for one semester
  2. Attend weekly practicum class meetings at Fordham University
  3. Meet with Dr. Stumacher on a regular basis to discuss the practicum experience, rotation transitions, and any hospital-related issues
  4. Completion of the practicum project
  5. While St. Barnabas is a teaching hospital and the physicians expect and welcome student questions, comments, and discussion, students must be proactive in seeking out learning opportunities; St. Barnabas staff will provide guidance on ways to maximize the benefit of the experience
  6. Prior to beginning their on-site projects students will be provided information on St. Barnabas’ institutional rules and regulations; students are expected to comply with rules and regulations relevant to their activities at St. Barnabas

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