The job functions of nurses have been expanding far beyond tasks involving traditional bedside care. Layers of new responsibilities involve managing increasingly complex patient care requirements. Caring for an aging population, learning and using medical technologies, adhering to patient safety and privacy rules, and making critical decisions on the spot are just a few of the varied dimensions of nursing care today. These new layers require a higher level of knowledge, skills and training.
As nurses’ roles expands and patients rely more and more on nursing care, nurses become a more critical part of an integrated health care team. But while demand for versatile nurses is high, their supply is critically low. This means nurse educators and nursing institutions of learning have to be creative in exploring various avenues of instruction to produce knowledgeable and skilled nurses to provide safe, effective care in today’s complex healthcare environments.
In the area of nurse education, technology is helping improve training effectiveness—and empower nurses to deliver better care—through the use of high-fidelity simulation labs, like those found at Standard Healthcare Services Inc., College of Nursing. When used in conjunction with clinicals and classroom instruction, the labs can help produce safer, more efficient, more confident nurses.
The simulation labs enable our students to gain a tremendous amount of experience by doing procedures and then observing their impact without compromising the health and safety of human patients.
The simulation suite consists of 2 labs, each with a focus on a specific set of nursing skills: medical/surgical, health assessment, maternal/child and critical care. The labs are peer taught and overseen by trained nurses.
The labs allow students to acquire the full spectrum of skills needed for nursing, ranging from drawing blood and hanging an IV bag to delivering babies and preparing toddlers for surgery. Mannequins include Noelle, a woman who gives birth, and newborn Hal, who breathes, cries and is programmed to respond physiologically to students’ interventions.