The Simulation and Information Technology Center (SITC) is a clinical simulation and technology support center providing on campus and distance education services and resources. The center has a diversity of space available for students to practice safe patient care simulations. One large area in the School of Nursing has 18 hospital beds that can be adapted as a simulated acute care hospital or a long-term care facility. A new critical care/adult health simulation suite allows a simulation area that houses specialty equipment, complete with ventilator, code cart, and invasive monitoring equipment as well as a redesigned multifunctional space for a variety of clinical simulation activities. Another room is a four-bed obstetrical wing with two maternal beds and two infant incubators. A one-bedroom efficiency apartment simulates a home health care setting. The simulated home area includes a kitchen, living quarters, family room, bedroom, and bath. Many of the Simulation Center areas are equipped with technology and equipment to run simulations from centralized control rooms. This technology not only allows the faculty and staff person(s) facilitating the simulation to remain out of the view of the students while operating the simulation equipment, but also allows clinical simulations to be conducted in a realistic manner. Two additional multiroom suites of the Cooper Science Building expand the clinical simulation practice and evaluation space. One has four additional hospital beds in individual rooms. The other area has four individual rooms, each with an exam table. Both multiroom suites are used for simulation practice and evaluation as well as videotaping projects.
Lab equipment used in the areas of the Simulation Center contains a variety of models, 10 different kinds of task trainers with multiples of each on hand, hospital linens, equipment, and supplies for a range of simulation activities. Additionally, the SITC possesses 28 different manikins including two neonate, one infant, one pediatric, two obstetrical, eight static, five low fidelity, and nine high fidelity manikins. Other clinical practice equipment include a fully-functioning ventilator, seven Alaris IV pumps, one PCA pump, one syringe pump, two medication carts, a fully stocked code blue cart, and a Pyxis medication station. These SITC supplies and equipment are available for clinical simulation, practice, and evaluation with the goal of preparing students for safe patient care.
Clinical simulations have increased from six different simulations in fall 2007 to thirty-seven in spring 2010 with a total of 591 simulation runs during the fall 2010 semester. These simulations cover the spectrum of basic baccalaureate clinical nursing classes. Simulations are selected/created by faculty. Simulations are updated regularly in a cooperative effort between SITC personnel and course faculty. Virtual clinical experiences are evaluated by students. Most simulations have received overall high ratings by students, including 70% from 2007-2008, 72% from 2008-2009, and 88% from 2009-2010. Students find the clinical simulation experiences help them relate concepts learned in the classroom to clinical practice (96% for 2010-2011 and 95% for 2011-2012).
The clinical simulation program includes the use of volunteer patients and the use of Second Life virtual reality. The Second Life program is being used for three different virtual simulation experiences by sophomore nursing students as an opportunity to interview virtual clients in assessing their nutritional status, genitourinary sexual health, and a basic psychological evaluation. This provides a nonthreatening venue as students begin to develop assessment skills. These learning opportunities are followed by a live interview with volunteer standardized clients to complete an entire health history assessment and an additional psychological evaluation. Volunteer clients are also used to roleplay patients in simulation experiences for the sophomore and senior levels. The juniors have additional experiences with volunteers in an in-class simulation, as well as a group teaching project. Volunteers contribute to programming for a total of six undergraduate clinical courses.
Our Distance Learning program allows our RN to BS, master's, and DNP (doctorate of nursing practice) students to complete their degree 100% online through the university's Blackboard system, with clinical experiences selected in their home communities. Each course is structured into a series of modules that students are required to complete every 1-2 weeks, according to the schedule set by the instructor. Students interact with other distance learning students through discussion boards, online chat sessions, and our Wiki (online collaboration) page. The Simulation and Information Technology Center provides support to these students via phone and e-mail. We assist students with a wide range of questions ranging from using Blackboard, mobile device issues, MS Office help, and much more.
Technical support is available to on- and off-campus faculty, staff, and students for problems encountered with technical equipment such as software, network connections, mobile devices, and printers. The SITC staff can be contacted for technical assistance on campus by phone at 765-285-5584 or at email@example.com The SITC facility also provides video viewing stations. Students may view multimedia materials independently or as groups. Rooms are available that allow students to do self-videotaping for assignments. Multimedia services are available and widely used by students and faculty. The SITC staff assist faculty in the development of web enhanced materials, such as video streaming. Viewing monitors and multimedia carts may be reserved for classroom use and supplement the university supported e-classrooms.
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