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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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NMSU College of Health and Social Services to upgrade nursing simulation laboratory

The New Mexico State University College of Health and Social Services has received $111,110 from the President’s Performance Fund to make improvements to the School of Nursing simulation laboratory.

A group of male and female students work in a simulation lab.
New Mexico State University nursing students work on practical skills in a simulation lab. With resources from the President’s Performance Fund, the NMSU School of Nursing is making improvements to its facilities. (NMSU photo by Darren Phillips)

“The money we received from the President’s Performance Fund is specifically designed to increase the capacity and efficiency of our simulation laboratory,” said Tilahun Adera, Dean of the College of Health and Social Services. “When it is finished, I think the simulation lab is going to be one of the best sources of training for our students. The lab can simulate a hospital by using operating room light, ICU bed, EKG monitor, crash cart, birthing bed, infant warmer, incubator, ventilator, IV pump etc. The computerized mannequins in the lab can emit heart sounds and breathing, exhibit blood pressure and other vital signs. They also can show distress, speak, cry, bleed, vomit and sweat. In short, the lab allows students to perfect procedures and learn from their mistakes without putting a real patient at risk.”

The School of Nursing intends to purchase new technology, such as a simulation mannequin and energy pod, and remodel facilities for the simulation labs.

School of Nursing Director and Associate Dean Pamela Schultz said the improvements are needed with the number of students in the department increasing.

“We have students working with the simulation man and students watching what is going on, so there’s lots of activity, lots of movement and lots of commotion,” she said. “We are trying to make adjustments so it is more efficient.”

The simulation lab is setup like a hospital ward with beds and medical equipment needed to treat patients.

“It’s state-of-the-art nursing education and medical education to use simulation,” Schultz said. “It’s a great tool to use because we have the opportunity to setup scenarios that students have to respond to. It’s a great way to help students learn about safety, decision-making and all of the things that can be difficult to teach people.”

The School of Nursing also plans to remodel facilities in the College of Health and Social Services building. With the Department of Public Health Sciences moving its offices to the third floor, nursing will move faculty offices to Room 102 and renovate Room 132 into a simulation lab. Nursing students across every level will benefit from the upgrades.

In addition, the college received $75,000 from the New Mexico legislature as a capital outlay project for the simulation lab.