Nursing department awarded $85k Champlin grant, will upgrade high-fidelity manikin in Sim Lab
From its blinking eyes and responsive pupils to its spontaneous breathing and seemingly limitless number of programable illnesses, a highly sophisticated new patient equipped with the latest in medical simulation learning technologies will be moving into Salve Regina’s nursing lab for an extended stay thanks to a $84,621 grant from The Champlin Foundation.
With the funding, Salve Regina’s nursing department will purchase SimMan 3G Plus, known in the medical field as a high-fidelity manikin, on which students will practice their clinical skills in the University’s Nursing Simulation Lab in O’Hare Academic Building. The Sim Lab is already home to 10 such manikins, “patients” of all ages from newborns and toddlers to adults, including five high-fidelity, three medium-fidelity and two low-fidelity devices.
The new SimMan 3G Plus is upgraded with many features not available in older 3G manikin models, including heightened realism and new learning bundles detailing a myriad of real-life medical scenarios. It will be capable of representing a diverse array of patients with interchangeable face skins, articulating limbs for improved clinical utility, and will allow for students to use real clinical devices to assess and monitor vital signs, heart sounds, breath sounds, administer medications, evaluate patient response to treatment and more.
“As a teaching methodology, simulation training for students enhances critical thinking skills, strengthens clinical decision making, and provides vital experience in the practice of clinical procedures leading to improved patient safety and outcomes in the healthcare environment,” said Debra Cherubini, assistant professor and chair of Salve Regina’s nursing department.
Changes in the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX), the national test to become a nurse, are placing an emphasis on evaluating critical thinking skills, so it’s also important to position Salve Regina’s updated and expanded Simulation Lab as a critical teaching tool to better prepare students for successful outcomes in taking the exam and securing their license to practice.
The lab’s high-fidelity manikins have the technology to talk back to students, providing human-like responses during treatment, important feedback for students when practicing proper administration of medication dosages and setting intravenous fluid rates.
Cameras in the lab record student responses as they move through real-life scenarios interacting with both patients and families. Students can review their performance with instructors to assess strengths and weaknesses in their physical assessment skills and clinical performance.
“By working with both low- and high-fidelity manikins, nursing students can practice a wide range of skills in a simulated hospital environment, from providing physical care, administering medications and treatments, and intervening in emergency situations,” Cherubini said.
Salve Regina’s Sim Lab features the same manikins used at medical schools around the world, and the University has ongoing partnerships that provide community partners in healthcare access to the technology for professional development opportunities. Newport Hospital medical staff and select clinical staff conducted training on intubation and resuscitation skills at lab last spring as part of Lifespan’s COVID-19 surge plan.
Newport Hospital staff have also used the Sim Lab for Emergency Room training procedures that included the Newport Fire Department personnel. And a partnership with the Rhode Island Division of Elderly Affairs’ respite care project provided its students access to the lab for training in palliative and end-of-life nursing care. Future outreach efforts include a plan to support EMT training.
About Salve Regina’s nursing program
Salve Regina’s nursing program, which is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, accepted its first class of undergraduate students during the 1947-1948 academic year. The undergraduate program offers a pre-licensure track for high school graduates and a degree completion track for students who are already registered nurses.
For nurses seeking advanced degrees, Salve Regina offers a master’s in nursing (MSN), family nurse practitioner, and the doctor of nursing practice (DNP), which provides clinical preparation for becoming an advanced practice nurse and education in evidence-based practice, quality improvement and systems thinking.
In 2019, Salve Regina launched a fully online RN-BSN program that offers increased convenience, flexibility and affordability for a wider range of students looking to boost their competitive career edge in the healthcare marketplace.
Salve Regina also operates an advanced practice nursing colloquium in the Simulation Lab. This lab also simulates a clinical environment, blending didactic learning with crucial skills practice to empower students with confidence and critical thinking skills through a variety of patient care simulations.
Since 1932, The Champlin Foundation has awarded more than $610 million to fund capital projects for Rhode Island nonprofit organizations. Its nine areas of focus cover arts and culture, conservation and parks, education, health, historic preservation, libraries, social services, welfare of animals and youth services. For more information visit www.champlinfoundation.org.