UNCG Campus Weekly

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UNCG Nursing sets new SCENE

Photo of students in Simulation CenterRed Yoder, an elderly man living on his own, has diabetes and a painful toe wound. Two UNCG Nursing students are at Red’s apartment to check on him.

Stephanie Faulk and Marianne Williams, both seniors, check Red’s blood sugar levels, take a look at his toe, and assess his living situation. But Red’s not real. He’s a hi-fidelity simulation mannequin. And his apartment is part of a new simulation space — the Simulation Center for Experiential Nursing Education (SCENE) — that takes up most of the fourth floor of the Moore Nursing Building.

The fourth floor was renovated to expand Nursing’s simulation space. SCENE — created with $300,000 of departmental funds and donations — officially debuted Nov. 19 with an open house.

Stephanie and Marianne’s visit with Red has been videotaped so they can review it later, self-evaluating and getting feedback from a faculty member. Both students would love to spend more time with patients like Red.

“We can really reflect on how we did and really identify areas we can improve on,” Marianne says. “It’s a good way to connect classroom to clinical. It’s a step between the classroom and working with a real patient.”

“Body language speaks better than our voices sometimes,” says Stephanie.

Just down the hall from Red’s apartment, is a control room. Today Susan Hensley-Hannah — clinical assistant professor and simulation coordinator — is at the helm. She can see, hear and record the students’ visit with Red. She can control Red’s body, manipulating his heart rate and blood pressure or inducing a cough or wheeze. And she can provide Red’s voice through a voice modulated microphone that makes her sound like an elderly man. Really.

Julie Kordsmeier — also a clinical assistant professor and simulation coordinator — says students will get to know Red over time, tracking him through hospitalizations and declining health. A faculty member will also portray Red’s daughter-in-law and caretaker, Judy.

“It’s an evolving care story,” Kordsmeier says.

Kordsmeier, a 25-year nursing veteran, says students will care for simulated patients across the lifespan — including newborn and child mannequins — and with a wide variety of afflictions. In addition to Red’s apartment, there is a pediatric room that simulates a hospital pediatric unit and a two-bay adult care room.

Next week, Kordsmeier says, the child will have a ruptured appendix. Meanwhile.The baby’s breathing issues may point toward pneumonia.

Simulations give nursing students an advantage, Kordsmeier says. They allow all students to experience identical situations, situations hand-picked by instructors, and to take the lead in critical scenarios where they might otherwise be pushed aside.

Around the corner from Red’s apartment is a smaller room containing the nursing school’s new Anatomage table. The 300-pound, $70,000 portable table, is one of only about 70 in the world and 50 in the U.S.

Anatomage is a person-length, touch screen digital device which allows students to dissect and explore body systems using high-resolution, life-size scans of real cadavers. For instance if students want to compare a healthy lung with a lung affected by cystic fibrosis, they can call up those images on Anatomage.

And then there are the less high-tech simulations.

One, an end-of-life situation with actors playing same-sex partners, had students in tears. “It was powerful to see,” Hensley-Hannah says.

Another simulation had Hensley-Hannah disguising herself as a 78-year-old woman who had fallen.The students who treated her, even checking her vital signs, were in for a surprise.

“They didn’t recognize her,” Kordsmeier says.

Story by Michelle Hines
Full story at UNCG Now.