New nursing simulation laboratory offers students high-tech training

Nick Walton

Nursing students use mannequins to learn life-saving techniques

Junior nursing majors Ashley Schreiner, Michelle Neff and Erin Schreiner practice a head-to-toe assessment of SimBaby with professor Elaine Thomas in the Olga A. Mural Nursing Simulation Lab yesterday afternoon. Daniel Doherty | Daily Kent Stater

Credit: DKS Editors

In one corner, a man was being treated for congestive heart failure, and in another corner, an infant was being treated for head trauma.

The patients were mannequins, able to realistically simulate real-life patients and their reactions to medical treatment. Their treatments were two of the demonstrations nursing students performed at the opening of the Olga A. Mural Nursing Simulation Laboratory yesterday in Henderson Hall.

“With the opening of the Olga A. Mural nursing simulation lab, the college (of nursing) is writing a new and exciting chapter in nursing education,” President Lester Lefton said. “The leadership of the faculty is driving the future of nursing in our state and in a certain extent our nation.”

Students will work in a room that simulates a hospital, where they will be able to work through various medical situations. In the demonstration, in which the patient had congestive heart failure, the mannequin complained of having chest pain. The laboratory has three mannequins for students to use.

In the separate control room, the symptoms and signs of the patient can be changed to reflect the student’s procedures. The simulations are captured on camera and can be reviewed by students later. The status of the patient is displayed on a monitor that allows students to see the inside of the patient.

In the control room students will be responsible of analyzing the situation and coming up with solutions to situations.

“It was exciting to apply what we learned in class,” sophomore nursing major Mark Little said. Little worked on the mannequin that had congestive heart failure.

Mural was unable to attend the ceremony but was praised for her charitable work.

“We think of (Mural) today for making this lab possible, for funding professorship and for supporting scholarships for nursing students because she cares about the students at Kent State,” Lefton said. “Because of Olga’s gift, our students can safely practice patient assessment and care long before they start their clinical work.”

Laboratory coordinator Nancy Aho, said that the new mannequins will provide a dimension of realism that is not available with regular mannequins.

“This is a wonderful environment for students to practice nursing and try out their skills in a nice, safe environment so they can hit the ground running when they’re in clinical situations,” Aho said.

The design of the lab began a year ago and cost $250,000 to create. Aho said everyone from basic nursing students to graduate students will use the lab.

Contact news correspondent Nick Walton at [email protected].