• October 17, 2019

UTPB sim lab prepares future nurses - Odessa American: Education

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UTPB sim lab prepares future nurses

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Posted: Thursday, September 19, 2019 5:12 pm

Nursing students at the University of Texas Permian Basin are using sophisticated simulation equipment to become more competent and confident in health care settings.

During National Health Care Simulation Week, UTPB College of Nursing Simulation Center Coordinator Angie Herrington said the lab offers exposure to a variety of clinical experiences for the roughly 80 to 100 students who are enrolled in the program.

“It gives them the opportunity to practice real-life situations that they will experience on a daily basis and also those situations that are more rare that they may not see on a regular basis in their practice,” she said.

Students are introduced to advanced visualization technology like the Anatomage table as early as the first week of their courses. Using this high-tech tool, students can digitally explore 3D renderings of male and female anatomy one layer at a time.

First-year nursing student Brenda Carbajal received a demonstration Thursday with four others on how to use the touchscreen table. Carbajal is taking health assessment and medical terminology courses and can solidify what she reads in the textbook while practicing hands-on learning in the lab.

Another nursing student, Ike Odiaka, was in the next room of the center listening to heart and lung sounds with a stethoscope.

He was using a SimPad Sounds Trainer to simulate normal and abnormal sounds in his mannequin.

“It’s very important in a practice-based profession that you not only learn the book knowledge, but you have to have the opportunity to apply it in a hands-on manner,” Herrington said. “That is really key in a nursing education.”

Odiaka said auscultating heartbeats was a concept he was able to wrap his mind around better after experimenting with equipment in the sim center.

“It’s amazing the way nursing has progressed from where I was when I was doing my training 35 years ago and now,” UTPB Nursing Instructor Sherron Franks-Meeks said. “The simulation we had back then was each other. Students now have the opportunity to get the same skills with no chance of hurting anybody, and that’s the great thing about simulation. It gives you the opportunity to have the anxiety and grow your confidence because you know you can’t hurt (a mannequin).

Odiaka said he knows he will leave the nursing program feeling self-assured in his abilities.

“I’m going to be very confident in myself because what I do right now is like I’m in a hospital setting,” he said. “Whatever you find here is what you find in the operating room. We’ve done patient transfers from a bed to a wheelchair and I’m able to interact with it and do all protocols. When I go out (in the world) I’ll be able to do the same thing.”

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