Nursing Program Receives New Simulation Labs

Published: October 28, 2020

Three nursing students worked fast to stop the newborn mother's hemorrhaging, who just gave birth to twins. The students quickly stabilized the patient and stopped the bleeding when a woman's voice came over the intercom congratulating the team, but the voice was not a woman. It was Sean Muldoon, a Nursing Operation Specialist, who looks like a six-foot-tall linebacker, using a voice modulator in the College of Western Idaho's (CWI) new state-of-the-art simulation lab.

CWI recently completed a four-month project to add three, new simulation labs and debriefing rooms to the College's Professional Nursing program at the Canyon County Center.

"I feel very thankful. A lot of schools are struggling financially, but CWI has supported the program, and our students are going to be able to do up to 50% of their clinicals in these simulation labs," said Allison Baker, Department Chair of Nursing. "This is great because our clinical placements out in the community are not guaranteed with coronavirus."

Additionally, the depth and breadth of student training has increased with the new labs.

"The clinical experience for our students has been enriched and enhanced by simulation and virtual simulation," said Cathleen Currie, Dean of Health.

The manikins are incredibly lifelike in appearance, and they were cast from real people to make the students' training more realistic.

"We have stethoscopes that are paired to a device to simulate a person having an asthma attack. It is stuff you can't plan for in a hospital – if you want your student to know how to handle a seizure, you can give your manikin a seizure; you can't do that in real life," she said with a smile.

The new technology delivers a more realistic training scenario.

Our previous manikins felt like you were talking to a large plastic doll – with these new manikins, it feels like you're talking with a real person, and you can hear people talk back through the audio system," said Jen Mimish, Assistant Professor in the Nursing program.

Special attention was also placed in the design of the rooms to give a realistic feel to a medical facility.

"The new rooms feel like a real hospital room, and that really changed the experience of students to help make the rooms feel like the hospital instead of a classroom," Mimish continued.

CWI Nursing students have a great success rate with a 96.5% pass rate from NCLEX-RN exam, and these new labs will continue to help students excel in the program.

"It's very exciting, this is really a place where you see those light bulbs come on – you really see students connecting what's happening, so it's very rewarding to see what happens in here," said Mimish."

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