Hi-Tech Nurse Training at ASU

By Keith Boles - bio | email feedback

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) -The Donald W. Reynolds Center for Health Sciences building was dedicated on September 25th.

The building houses some of the latest in state of the art nursing education equipment available. It's all used for hands-on training for tomorrows nurses.

Sophomore Darren Winfrey was working on a baby simulator that was breathing and moving and crying. I asked him how simulator training prepares him for the real world.

"If we get to have this kind of experience here at the lab, then when we go to the hospital we'll be better prepared or at least have some understanding of what can be thrown at us."

Nurse anesthetist instructor Mark Dunavan stands beside a simulator that talks and can get put to sleep like a real person. He said that hands-on simulation for the 27 months the students train has a lasting impression.

"It will make more of an impression on them. They will learn it better and remember it longer."

Lori Clay is in overall charge of all the learning centers. Her showpiece is a large classroom that has over 11 beds, an intensive care room and a birthing suite.

"You're gonna remember those things so it's not like somewhere you don't want to be it's somewhere I cannot wait to get to lab."

All over the third floor practical training is going on. From Brenda Anderson's Health Assessment class using tuning forks and instruments to check out hearing and the health of ears.

And Lori Clay's lab where the students were learning how to handle crutches and restraints and moving a patient from bed to gurneys. There are a lot of busy hands being "Hands On."

For Nurse Anesthetist training, the lab uses advanced state of the art equipment to prepare students for that critical job.

Dunavan, "We call these high fidelity simulators. these can actually have a heart rate, they can have a blood pressure. We can program them to speak. As the students experience increases we can make the simulator challenges harder."

The school has other simulators that can have babies, heart attacks, turn blue...whatever can be programmed into the controlling computer.

Lori Clay, "Create situations that maybe you're gonna be in a hospital and you want to know that someone has practiced that situation before they get there with you. The mannequins are very realistic."

Clay says that ASU more than compares and goes beyond many bigger nursing programs. The new facility enhances the ability of the teachers to give a better experience. With a larger space it's easier to practice basic skills, like lifting patients, fitting for crutches, using a walker, restraint and other normal hospital skills.

Sheryl Staton left her accounting career behind for a new career in nursing. She says she feels confident in what she is learning.

"We get to try hands on in the classroom what we will be doing once we go to the hospital. Which gives you that little bit easier feeling."

Lori Clay says the students who graduate now will face different kinds of patients than when she graduated.

"They're a lot sicker now and so they need a higher degree of training before they get out."

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