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NSU Nursing Students Placed in Real-Life Situations

(NSU NEWSROOM--Dec. 18, 2013)--NSU nurse educator Angela K. Hayes is part of a rarified group. Hayes is a certified simulation healthcare educator, who passed the exam in August. Just 255 healthcare simulation professionals from 15 countries have become certified since the examination program launched in June 2012, according to the Society for Simulation in Healthcare.

What is even more astonishing is that Hayes accomplished this feat just one month after undergoing surgery to remove a brain tumor, which was found to be benign. That’s just how passionate she is about simulation education.

“The medical crises in my life increased and intensified my motivation and commitment to assist with educating competent, professional nurses through the use of simulation,” said Hayes, who is lab coordinator of NSU’s Center for Innovative Nursing Education (CINE) and the Hampton Roads regional director of the Virginia State Simulation Alliance.

She studied for the exam while in the intensive care unit recuperating from the surgery. Hayes also thanks her nursing students for helping her as well. During the 2013 spring semester, Hayes ran simulations four to five days a week.

“I learned a lot about simulation from these experiences,” she said.

Hayes can’t forget how she became acquainted with simulation education and bitten by the simulation bug. She credits Dr. Bennie Marshall, who was the nursing department chair, at that time. Marshall selected her for the CINE position and sent Hayes to simulation training sessions and several national conferences.

“During that time, I fell in love with simulation and I have remained in love. I see the potential it has to transform students’ academic and clinical performances,” she said.

Hayes is bringing that passion and commitment to students in the University’s nursing program.

Simulation education puts nursing students in real-life situations that allow them to use their nursing judgment. Hayes said that although the students take part in clinicals in healthcare facilities, they do not often get to use their nursing judgment.

More often than not, she added, the facility nurses make the decisions about care. Recently four nursing students took part in a simulation in which they were working with a patient who suddenly went into shock while her daughter was present in the room.

The students took on the roles of charge nurse, primary nurse, non-licensed health professional and a recorder, while Department of Nursing and Allied Health staff unfamiliar with the students took on the roles of the patient’s daughter and the attending doctor who they had to contact via telephone. A mannequin, specially equipped for medical scenarios, was the patient.

Although it was a simulation, the actions and the judgments of the students were real. Hayes, along with the recording nursing student, evaluated each of their actions.

Nursing student Jenna Siegl said the scenario has helped with developing her nursing judgment and dealing with patients.

“So far, the patients and their families have been a worst case scenario,” she said.

Other students agreed.

“We look forward to this,” Rachel Jordan said of the simulations, “I always feel accomplished after it. I always take something away from it.”

 
     
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