The newly opened Health Sciences Center (HSC) at Cedarville University is home to several new learning technologies for nursing and pharmacy students. These technologies help students develop skills, knowledge and confidence between their classroom instruction and hospital and lab experiences, making them better equipped to serve their communities effectively.
THINKING LIKE A NURSE
The third floor of the HSC is home to the simulation centers that will be used by nursing and pharmacy students. New for this year are two high-fidelity simulators: SimMan® 3G and SimMom™. Both are lifelike mannequins that act like a human would in a wide variety of programmable situations.
SimMan 3G can simulate patients with a variety of health problems. For example, he can be programmed to have a seizure, severe medication reaction or an asthma attack. His ability to perspire, cry, and react with circumoral cyanosis (blue lips) when his oxygen levels are too low add to the realism of the clinical situation.
“It’s pretty amazing technology,” said Connie Ford, F.N.P. and associate professor of nursing.
When activated, SimMan3G’s chest rises and falls, he can cough and can complain about discomfort, all controlled by the professor in the control room. When given medication, he will react as a normal patient might, depending on the nature and dose of the medication he has been given.
Also new for use this year is SimMom, an advanced, interactive birthing simulator. This simulator allows students to practice the birthing process with a lifelike mother and baby.
These simulators and their abilities give instructors a wide range of scenarios to present to students, all within a safe environment. “Simulation gives students opportunities to think like a nurse in the safety of a simulated setting,” Ford said. “They’re free to succeed and they’re free to make a mistake, and at the end of the day the mannequins are fine.”
LEARNING IN THE LAB
Several labs in the HSC are helping to enhance the pharmacy experience at Cedarville University. Research, pharmacy skills and clinic labs each play an integral role in developing student confidence before they receive practical experience in a pharmacy. At the same time, they help to develop student and faculty mindsets toward service.
“The clinic lab not only serves as a simulation lab for outpatient clinical services but is also intended to eventually serve as an opportunity for faculty and students to provide patient care to Greene County,” said Marc Sweeney, Pharm.D. “We have a drug information center, which is intended to be a resource center and a center for faculty and students to provide information and consultation services to the local health care community.”
In addition to helping students, the new labs assist faculty in research. According to Sweeney, the research lab includes multiple pieces of equipment intended to enhance faculty research. Technology is ultimately a tool to help make both students and faculty stronger practitioners.
“We’re practicing in a very high-tech environment, so to not engage technology in training affords everyone a disadvantage,” Sweeney said. “We want to be proactive in making sure that technology is always a part of the training of students as they go out into practice.”
Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University attracts 3,400 undergraduate, graduate and online students to more than 100 areas of study. Celebrating 125 years of inspiring greatness, Cedarville is a Christ-centered learning community recognized nationally for rigorous academic programs, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings and leading student satisfaction ratings. Visit the University online at www.cedarville.edu.