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Nursing lab adds new simulator, secures grant

2013-07-22 Sim Lab PediSIM.jpg
Kathryn Parrish makes adjustments to the Simulation Lab's new simulator, PediSIM.

The Department of Nursing's Simulation Lab at the University of North Georgia recently received a new "patient" in the form of a pediatric simulator mannequin, or PediSIM, and has received a $3,000 grant to purchase iPads for documentation practice.

The Simulation Lab allows students to test their skills on lifelike patients in a realistic yet relaxed environment that provides low-stress, firsthand experience.

PediSIM gives nursing students the opportunity to gain valuable experience in treating children with a variety of medical problems, simulating scenarios in either an outpatient clinic or emergency department.

"Students have overwhelmingly enjoyed the experience of having a pediatric simulator," said Kathryn Parrish, assistant professor of nursing and manager of the lab.

PediSIM joins the lab's other two patients—I-Stan and Noelle—to further round out the range of patients and illnesses nursing students can practice on via simulation.

I-Stan, the lab's adult simulator, provides simulations of a wide range of injuries and illnesses, including trauma, broken bones, seizures, and post-surgical care. He can also present many symptoms by simulating sweat, blood, a heartbeat, and lung and bowel sounds.

Noelle is the lab's birthing simulator, and can simulate multiple types of birth and birth complications. She is equipped with several different babies as well, including one that is birthed by the mannequin and another that students can use in post-delivery care training.

The grant will support the purchase of iPads to help nursing students train in the documentation of electronic medical records, a critical skill for modern nurses.

"Using new technologies is imperative to improve patient care and maintain patient safety," Parrish said. "We plan for all students to have real-time access to an educational Electronic Medical Record while performing new skills or performing a patient-care simulation scenario. This mimics what they will be doing in clinical and then in their practice after graduation."

Parrish is also in the process of pursuing other upgrades to the lab, including an updated version of Noelle that is tether-less and more mobile.

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