Nursing Program Enhancements — $2.5 Million

Nursing faculty member Melissa McDowell looks over the iStan simulator as she gives a demonstration to nursing students on how to use the simulator.Rapid improvements in technology have changed the way health care professionals work and prepare for real world experience, and it is imperative that we continue providing advanced technology to support instruction.

Brenau’s Simulation Center helps meet the demands in this changing field. Through human anatomy simulation technology, students gain hands-on training in moment-to-moment medical crises. Through this campaign, we seek to expand our students’ training with additional high fidelity robotic simulators, including a neonatal birthing simulator for students to observe reactions to various treatments and conditions in real time. Brenau also plans to expand the Nursing Skills Lab into the Integrated Interdisciplinary Health Skills Simulation Lab at the Brenau East campus.

Standardized patient programs are a hallmark of medical education and are critical in helping students hone their communication skills as they learn to diagnose and treat patients. Funds will be used to construct patient exam rooms, fund faculty and staff training, and provide video technology to record and playback the mock patient examinations to develop the Brenau Standardized Patient Program.

Integrated Interdisciplinary Health Skills Simulation Lab

OB Nursing SimulatorClinical simulation labs are vital to the proper training of nursing students by providing hands-on experiential learning that can duplicate tasks and procedures in a realistic life-like environment. The Integrated Interdisciplinary Health Skills Simulation Lab will expose Nursing, Occupational Therapy (OT) and Physical Therapy (PT) students to health care issues and scenarios including childbirth, food allergies, diabetes, obesity, heart disease, cancers, aging, accidents and mortality. Since it is not reasonable for a student to experience many health care scenarios in an internship setting, the Integrated Interdisciplinary Health Skills Simulation Lab will train students in critical thinking, decision-making, effective communication and teamwork necessary to diagnose and treat an array of health care related needs in a setting that mirrors the hospital environment. This lab also will enhance learning by providing opportunities for feedback, repetitive practices, integration of curriculum with practice, and clinical variation in a controlled learning environment that does not pose patient risk.

By establishing an Integrated Interdisciplinary Health Skills Simulation Lab, the University will create a hospital-like environment as highlighted in the architectural rendering. Eight rooms will form a periphery around a central nursing station. Rooms will include settings for health assessment/triage, critical care, medical surgery rooms for acute and critical care, nursing, pediatric, newborn, and labor and delivery. Each room will contain wireless manikins (adult, birthing and child) that can duplicate real-life scenarios. Rooms will also be equipped with audio/visual systems for monitoring and feedback. Enhanced telemetry controlled at the nursing station will allow instructors to create varying manikin blood pressures, breathing, heart rate and other vitals. The Health Skills Simulation Lab will provide students with the educational facilities needed to best prepare them for their challenging profession and will ensure that Brenau University maintains the highest level of excellence in nursing education.

Integrated Interdisciplinary Health Skills Simulation Lab Plans