Nursing classrooms will simulate hospitals

By Melissa Wilson - Staff Reporter

Highline's Nursing program is about to undergo big changes. The construction on Building 26 will include updates for several programs, including

The building is now scheduled to open at the beginning of Winter quarter 2020.

It was originally scheduled to open for Fall quarter 2019, but construction was delayed due to weather and other complications.

The new Building 26 will feature new lecture rooms and simulation labs.

The simulation labs will have one-way mirrors for instructors to observe through.

They will have computers on the other side, so they can control the mannequin "patients" during the students' simulations.

Instructors will be able to make the mannequins talk, make their blood pressure, heart range change, and a lot of other things.

This helps the students to develop critical thinking as they have to come up with solutions quickly.

"[They can] learn practical clinical skills without causing damage to a person," said Steven Simpkins, director of the nursing department.

Each hospital bed will have a camera installed so that after the students practice, the professors can use the footage in a debrief, going over what they did well and what they could improve on.

The tentative plan is for there to be nursing faculty offices in Building 26.

Simpkins said that this will be important because they will be convenient to provide demonstrations and answer students' questions.

The Nursing students will have lockers for all of their books and belongings.

The students need to have a place to call home, Simpkins said, because they have four- hour classes.

They will be getting all new equipment in their space in Building 26.

There are both associates and bachelors degree programs in nursing at Highline.

Because nursing is main- ly about working with people, students can also practice by role-playing with each other.

Simpkins said that he felt like

a little kid at Christmas when he made his wish list of all the things that he and the other professors wanted in the new building.

The nursing program will be beginning to implement the simulation technology pretty slowly, Simpkins said.

Simulation is almost completely new to the nursing department.

They have had the necessary mannequins for a while, but not the rest of the camera equipment, so they haven't experimented with it much.

Research by the Journal of Nursing Regulation has also

shown that programs that have jumped straight into a lot of simulation after having no simulation did not fare well. Because of this, the Nursing faculty are taking their time to ease into simulations.

Highline faculty members toured several other similar facilities to see the way other colleges had their simulation labs set up.

They have also been careful to follow the many state regulations about simulations.

All of the nursing faculty are going to a conference over the summer to teach them how to best implement the simulations into their program. Nursing students only spend their first year in the labs and after that they spend most of their time getting experience in

real clinics.
Up to 50 percent of clinic

time will be able to be replaced with simulation time, making it much easier for students to get in enough practice, Simpkins said.

Getting funding was stressful and the project started later than it should have, but it hasn't been too bad, Simpkins said.

"There really haven't been a lot [of obstacles] considering how big this project it," Simpkins said. "[I've been] pleasantly surprised that when we've asked for stuff we've actually gotten what we asked for."

Part of the new nursing facility will be an open study space that is available to everyone on campus, not just nursing students.

Simpkins encouraged anyone who was interested in Nursing to stop by and ask questions.

"I really encourage people to consider Highline [for nursing]. Everyone thinks they have to go to a four-year school, but [here] you get just as quality of an education with much smaller class- es," Simpkins said.

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