Once housed in the ELC, the Nursing Lab is now located in McInnis Hall. Unlike the gray tiles in the hall outside, the tiles in the lab are white, giving the lab the atmosphere of a hospital. Five different rooms occupy this space: two simulation rooms, the main lab, the practice lab and a supplies room. The main lab is where students learn the majority of their lessons as they watch their instructor demonstrate the proper ways to care for their patients.
Once they have completed time in the main lab for a week, students practice what they have learned in the practice lab with a nurse educator to help guide them. Inside the practice lab are low-fidelity/static mannequins that students practice taking care of as though they were real patients. These mannequins can be treated with IV fluids, blood pressure cuffs and other hospital items. This helps students to become familiar more with how to use clinical equipment.
Another of the new pieces of equipment in the Nursing Lab are medical carts.
“[The med carts] scan medications and things, and so you can actually simulate going through a med pass with a patient, and how you greet the patient and look for them on the computer and find out what their medications are” Professor Fuguet, the clinical instructor in the Nursing department said.
As a part of the nursing curriculum, third year students work with static mannequins. In senior year, the curriculum becomes more complex. In the simulation rooms, there are high-fidelity mannequins and with them, fourth year students are able to learn how to read vital signs on the computer and even perform CPR on their patients. Students are given scenarios that test them on how they should solve patients’ issues. Students work together in groups in order to help sharpen each other’s skills and these simulation exercises encourage team building and critical thinking.
“It gives them the freedom to be able to make mistakes and to learn from them in a safe space” Fuguet said.
Their professor watches them from the next room through the window to make sure that they are being safe. These sessions are often recorded so that students and their professor can watch the recording and critique themselves and one another.
It takes time for students to hone in on their craft and to fulfill their educational requirements in order to become a Registered Nurse. One thing that is central in Eastern’s Nursing Department is holistically caring for the patient.
“We keep in mind that these clients that we are caring for are mind, body and spirit and not just sick people, but they have holistic needs so we try to approach our nursing with holistic care. Nursing with the art of caring” Fuguet said.