Nursing Department Given $215,500 for Simulation Lab

With campus upgrades such as the new Lewis Science Center and Donaghey Hall taking over last semester campus-talk, a new upgrade to UCA’s nursing department is following quickly behind.

The department recently received a $215,500 donation to be put toward the simulation lab in the department, allowing more interactive learning for nursing students.

Elizabeth A. Blankenship, along with her daughters Ashley Blankenship and Gretchen Humphreys, donated the check in order to help aid the lab.

It will now have a generated manikin along with other equipment, such as microphones and cameras.

Students will be recorded while performing different simulated scenarios and able to correct themselves when seeing mistakes they’ve made.

“It’s such an incredible blessing to have such a generous donation to our program,” junior Elaine Gorgas said. “The donation will not only help the nursing staff, but the students as well. The purchase of advanced technology will further prepare us for clinical experiences we may have. The ultimate goal of a nurse is to provide the best possible care to a patient and their family. I believe this donation will help us to achieve that.”

Department Chair Dr. Barbara Williams said the simulation lab will provide a life-like experience for students.

“The lab can be used for different types of patient situations. It will make a phenomenal impact on the department and an incredible impact on the students,” she said.

The UCA nursing department webpage has a philosophy statement that says, “The process of learning involves student- teacher partnerships and cooperation in meeting student and program goals…. Learning is a life-long endeavor that fosters intellectual and personal growth through critical thinking, active inquiry and creative endeavors.”

Junior Austin Berry said she was really excited when she heard about the donation.

“Nursing lecture is good for us information-wise, but I feel like if I’m going to be a great nurse it takes more than knowing terminology and concepts,” she said. “It takes hands-on experience and practice. I feel as though all nursing students will greatly benefit from it.”

The advanced technology used for the simulation lab will allow nursing students to expand their learning, be more comfortable when practicing lessons and prepare them for their future careers.

“I think the donation is great because the Simulation Lab is very important for our education,” junior Savannah Sparrow said. “It gives us an opportunity to practice before we go out to an actual hospital. It’s nice that we received a donation to help towards that.”

Nursing department instructors will control the manikin and students will use different skills to solve various scenarios.

“With the instructor’s being in control of the manikin it gives us more experience with unexpected patient situations,” Gorgas said. “Life can throw curve balls and having more practice will make us more prepared in the clinical setting.”

This article originally appeared in the Jan. 20, 2016 print edition of The Echo.

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