ORU College of Nursing unveils new simulation labs

By Ally Powell ('13)

ORU Nursing Sim labOral Roberts University's Anna Vaughn College of Nursing recently renovated classroom space to create four new simulation labs. The sim labs are composed of two hospital rooms, a control room and an instruction room. All of the labs will be completed by the end of the semester.

"Simulation promotes the development of critical thinking skills and allows students to demonstrate their clinical reasoning skills in a nonthreatening learning environment," says Sharon Willis, sim lab coordinator.

The sim labs allow students to gain hands-on experience before they work on actual patients in a clinical.

The two hospital rooms are composed of a gurney, crash cart, IV pumps and anything else that could be found in an actual operating room. There are also new simulation men, or sim men, for each room. With the sim men, students are able to perform various procedures such as starting IVs, defibrillation treatments and take a pulse. While students are working, a computer will detect the sim men's health progress. The sim men also have the ability to go into cardiac arrest or have an asthma attack during procedures. They act just as an actual patient would.

"The main purpose for the use of simulation in nursing education is to prepare students to enter the clinical world equipped to face situations that they may encounter," says Willis.

Cameras are also being installed in each hospital room so instructors can monitor student's work. Inside the control room, instructors are able to record video of the procedures as well as instruct students. Instructors are also able to talk through the sim men while students are working.

The instruction room is composed of a smart board, computers, a pharmaceutical cabinet, gurney and another sim man. In this room, students will be able to watch previous procedures performed in the hospital room while instructors critique them.

"The students love it," says Willis, "The labs are such an amazing environment for them."