Nursing Students Get New Simulation Lab

Jennifer Lawrence
Senior Editor

The current simulation lab will be getting a facelift over Christmas break. This image shows how the lab has had an open floor-plan.  Photo courtesy of UAM School of Nursing Facebook page

The current simulation lab will be getting a facelift over Christmas break. This image shows how the lab has had an open floor-plan. Photo courtesy of UAM School of Nursing Facebook page

   The University of Arkansas-Monticello’s School of Nursing simulation lab will be getting a renovation beginning in December. The lab will still be on the second floor of Sorrell’s Hall, but the construction of walls and doors will make the current lab look like an actual hospital.

   Brandy Haley, associate professor of nursing, had a vision of what the simulation lab could be. She wanted to make the lab seem more realistic to create fidelity of the simulation lab. She presented her ideas to Dean Laura Evans. Evans made contacts with Jack Lassiter and Jimmie Yeiser to present her ideas to them.

   Lassiter and Yeiser wanted to make the presentation in front of some community members. “Never in my mind when I made the presentation at that meeting did I think they would say we have found you the money,” said Haley.  “I cried because I was so excited. I know how beneficial this will be to our students.”

   The lab will have two hospital rooms, an intensive care room with a ventilator, a labor and delivery room to see a vaginal birth, an emergency room with three beds separated by curtains and a neonatal intensive care room.

   There will be a control room with one-way windows for the instructor to sit in and control the new mannequins. The one-way window is for less anxiety for the students. The instructor can sit and watch them without the student seeing the teacher stand and watch.

   The lab will get a SimMan 3G. He can simulate a seizure, sweat, cry, pupils dilate, communicate and bleed profusely.  He does not move, but students can start an IV on him. SimMom can simulate a maternity patient or surgical patient. SimNewbie is a newborn that can have health problems. This will give students the experience of dealing with a newborn because that is something a nursing student does not experience in clinicals. The current mannequin’s will still serve their purpose in the lab, but the new mannequin’s are more interactive.

   The lab is getting a ventilator so students can have experience with working with those. Also, patient controlled anesthesia pumps are something students do not experience in clinicals. This gives them the opportunity to work hands on with this equipment to get a feel for it and alleviate any stress before they are actually in that situation in a hospital. New IV pumps will give students the opportunity to run fluids through.

   The lab will have updated technology to scan the patients’ hospital bracelets and scan the medication into the system. Hospitals are all electronic now, so this gives them that experience too.

   This does not eliminate the need for clinicals, but the simulation lab will serve as another clinical sight. “It’s still important for that one on one contact with a patient,” said Haley. The simulation lab will help boost a student’s confidence when they go to the hospital for clinicals.

   The money for the lab came from grants and donors. Walmart made a $1, 500 donation, which will purchase a mirco-preemie mannequin, which is a 20-week premature baby.

   UAM School of Nursing is already recognized as a stellar nursing school, but this lab will help get UAM’s name out there some more. “This is going to put us up there with UAMS and UALR,” said Haley, whose infectious enthusiasm was contagious. After touring their simulation labs, she had a more concrete plan as to what she wanted to UAM’s simulation lab.

   Haley said, “This is a huge recruiting tool.” Video of the lab can be taken to area high schools to show potential students what UAM has to offer. Also, school of nursing has hopes to work with UAM-McGehee and UAM-Crossett to have LPN’s and RN’s work together to get more real-world experience. This lab has unlimited possibilies for the school of nursing.

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