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CNR Nursing Students Gain Acute Care Experience in New Simulated Hospital Center

December 11, 2018
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CNR nursing students had the opportunity to show off their clinical practice skills on Tuesday, December 4, during a demonstration of the College’s newest high-tech, six-room, simulated hospital center.

CNR’s new $100,000 facility has an intensive care unit, EKG machines, intravenous pumps, and carts to simulate dispensing medication and entering electronic medical records, as well as two high-fidelity mannequins. With lifelike respiration, pulse and blood pressure, the mannequins can simulate several medical conditions, including asthma, stroke, congestive heart failure, diabetes and more, so that students have the opportunity to diagnose and treat these mock patients in a safe learning environment.  

CNR President Dr. William Latimer, Westchester County Health Commissioner Dr. Sherlita Amler and New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson observed the demonstration during a tour of the facility on the first floor of the College’s Ursula Administration Center. 

During the demonstration, nursing students successfully treated an asthma attack. They administered intravenous medications and oxygen, monitored vital signs, and accessed the patient’s medical information using a computerized electronic records system identical to the ones used in hospitals.

“We are very excited to have this hospital-like clinical simulation center that will be used by our senior nursing students, said Dr. Debra Simons, Dean, School of Nursing & Healthcare Professions. The use of clinical simulation is critical for training competent and safe practitioners, as it helps to bridge important connections between academic knowledge and clinical reasoning.” Nursing students working in new simulation lab

She added, “Clinical simulation provides an opportunity to apply theory while gaining experience in skills or procedures that would otherwise be difficult without putting patients at risk, such as managing emergencies and resuscitation. As hospitals begin to reduce acute care beds and shift care to alternative care settings, this hospital-like simulation center will ensure that our students will receive acute care experiences in the safety of the clinical simulation setting.”

 “We are in the hospitals every week, multiple times a week. The nurses there have an expectation that you come in with a certain amount of experience and clinical expertise because you're there with them as they treat their patients,” said Dominique Jackson, a senior nursing student. “So, it's very important to have experience and knowledge with things as important as medical administration and documentation.  As a student, first going to the hospital can be very intimidating. Practicing those skills in this new simulation lab better prepares you for your clinical practice.”

Latimer said the simulated hospital was an extremely valuable tool for CNR’s signature nursing programs. “The College’s School of Nursing & Healthcare Professions enjoys a stellar reputation in nursing education, and deservedly so. This new simulation lab will provide our nursing students with even greater levels of clinical practice to prepare them for jobs in the community, in hospitals, and in a broad base of community-based agencies.“

Bramson and Amler were very impressed with the level of education being provided to nursing students at CNR.

 “From a municipal perspective, we recognize that eds and meds are the future of our economy,” said Bramson. “And this is a program which combines both. The College of New Rochelle, which is a foundational educational institution for our community, is preparing its students for exciting career opportunities in the healthcare field. So it's a win win.”Dr.Sherlita Amler and Dr. William Latimer look on as nursing student demonstrates asthma attack simulation

Amler said, “I think that the ability to have simulation in medical education, whether it's for nurses or physicians, is wonderful for the student because it allows them an opportunity to gain some experience and get confidence in a less stressful environment. So, the first time you have an issue is not with a live patient. And I think that's a really, truly valuable experience.”

This new simulation lab is an expansion of clinical simulation areas currently used by nursing students at CNR. The School’s Learning Resource Center for Nursing, a multipurpose facility, located in Angela Hall, features four laboratories and includes a full obstetrical suite with a mannequin that can simulate childbirth, a pediatric simulation suite and a community “home-like” suite. Two of the laboratories are used for simulation experiences, one for health assessment, and one for skill practice with static mannequins.