Nursing students use simulation lab

  POPLARVILLE – Students in the associate degree nursing program at Pearl River Community College gain almost life-like experience by using a simulation lab in the classroom.
  The lab was purchased with a $150,000 grant from the Lower Pearl River Valley Foundation.
  First-semester students Kayla Breland of Carriere and Kristi Guarino of Necaise used the lab Monday to prepare patient “Missy Duncan” for hip replacement surgery. Their classmates were assigned specific steps to monitor for discussion after the exercise.
  “It was a good learning experience,” Guarino said. “I’m a hands-on learner.”
  The students didn’t know until a few minutes before the exercise began that they had been picked as the first in their class to use the lab.
  “It was very nerve-wracking because everybody was watching,” Breland said. “I’ll definitely remember it.”
  The computerized lab includes an anatomically-correct mannequin that “talks” with the help of an instructor wearing a microphone. Vital signs are projected onto a large screen so that the entire class can see them.
  During Monday’s exercise, the patient complained of being anxious about the upcoming surgery, which prompted Breland and Guarino to call her doctor about anti-anxiety medication.
Two other students cared for “Missy” after her surgery.
  “I think, overall, it went really well,” instructor Marlene Shivers said. “I normally do a four-hour lecture on this material. I did a two-hour lecture and the students did more preparation on their own.”
  The lab will supplement the experience students receive in clinical settings where they frequently aren’t allowed to provide direct care for the most complex cases.
  “They are going to be able to participate in emergency situations, make life-and-death decisions and participate in end-of-life care,” said Dr. Arlene Jones, director of nursing education, when PRCC received the grant in June 2013.

First-semester nursing students Kayla Breland of Carriere, left, and Kristi Guarino of Necaise prepare “Missy Duncan” for hip replacement surgery using a simulation lab purchased with a grant from the Lower Pearl River Valley Foundation. ADN instructor Marlene Shivers is in the background. The screen to the right shows the vital signs that would be visible in a real hospital setting.
PRCC Public Relations photo

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