VIU’S New Health Care Simulation Suites Open With Donor Support

March 25, 2014 - 6:00am

Students in Vancouver Island University’s (VIU) health care programs are benefiting from a new, ‘high-fidelity’ health care simulation lab made possible by generous community donors. Sidney and Gladys Sharman and the Windsor Plywood Foundation, directed by Randle and Fran Jones, provided funds to establish the Sydney R. and Gladys L. Sharman Health Simulation Suites, which include a new ‘high-fidelity’ computerized patient to help students deepen their health care learning.

Randle and Fran Jones and Jane Alexander, representing the Sharmans, were special guests at the official opening and dedication of the Health Simulation Suites in VIU’s Health and Human Services (HHS) building March 20.

“Cutting edge facilities and equipment are critical to ensuring students maximize their learning and rise to meet every challenge in their future careers,” said President and Vice-Chancellor Ralph Nilson. “With limited budgets and constant changes in technology it can be a challenge to stay current. We could not achieve this without our generous donors who understand the need and see the potential.”

Nicknamed “Frank N. Stein”, the computerized mannequin offers the most realistic hands-on learning experience available to students outside of a human patient, said Nursing program instructor Barbara Metcalf. “These suites simulate a very accurate acute care setting, where students will encounter realistic scenarios.”

Metcalf, who has been accepted into a Harvard program this summer to deepen her learning on simulation scenarios, said students working in the suites are able to explore critical thinking, problem solving and conflict management while they practice a wide variety of skills on the simulated patient. The high tech patient mannequin lies in a realistic hospital room, has his vital signs monitored on a screen, and allows students to practice on catheter or chest tube insertion, injections, and blood and urine monitoring, among many other realistic scenarios.

Students in VIU’s Bachelor of Nursing, Licensed Practical Nursing, and Health Care Assistant programs will have an opportunity to work in the simulation lab.

Bachelor of Science third year Nursing students Sarah Balsam and Alison Bowie were on hand at the opening to demonstrate a scenario for guests. After attending to a fictional respiratory arrest, the two students told guests how the realistic environment impacts their learning.

“Hearing lung sounds, feeling a pulse, seeing vital signs and seeing pupils constrict or be dilated – these are things that make such a huge difference in our learning,” said Bowie. “Working in the simulation suites gives us a lot of confidence, and it’s also a lot of fun.”



Shari Bishop Bowes, Communications Officer, Vancouver Island University

P:250.740.6443 C: 250.618.1535 E: T: @viunews

Tags: In the Community

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