The Central Lakes College Nursing Program recently conducted a hospital simulation exercise to give 97 students an opportunity to respond to real-life clinical situations.
The simulation site for the two-day project was a Brainerd campus nursing lab that was transformed into a make-believe hospital. Volunteers played the patient roles, and professional evaluators assisted CLC instructors who debriefed students following their exercise.
Teams of practical and registered nursing students worked in 20-minute shifts, providing them an opportunity to demonstrate appropriate skills related to their respective scopes of practice.
Symptoms and discomforts ranged from a stroke to asthma to insulin reaction.
In the nursing simulation conducted at Central Lakes College last spring registered nursing student Tim Ludwig of Brainerd assisted a "patient" played by Kristiana Holmes, director of education at St. Joseph's Medical Center. Holmes served as an evaluator in this spring's simulation.
Volunteers playing the patient roles were Rebecca Best, Brainerd; Ted Winkels and Sheila Miller, Baxter; Vickie O'Brien, Alexandria; and Pat McCormick, Merrifield. Nursing instructors Laura Oeltjenbruns and Jessica Herron shared the role of a mother of a pediatric patient.
Main evaluators were RNs Darci Goeden, Connie Frisch, and Gayle Nielsen, Associate Degree Nursing instructors. Bedside evaluators included nursing instructors, RNs from St. Joseph's and Cuyuna Regional medical centers, and one college nursing lab assistant. They were Shirley Lofquist, Crosby; Kari Springer, Wendy Holder, Kristiana Holmes, and Sydney Anderson, Brainerd; and Miller and O'Brien.
The simulation was designed to replicate interaction with patients from different cultures, such as immigrant communities, which provide communication challenges.
Instructors debriefed the students after each simulation, and students were asked to examine what went well and what could have been done better.
The activity is one of several steps in the training in preparation for entering the profession upon obtaining licensure. CLC nursing students also do actual clinic and hospital shifts alongside professionals at area health-care facilities.
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