Expanded nursing sim center returns to campus
The Radford Clinical Simulation Center (CSC) is in its new home on the third floor of Cook Hall, has doubled in size and added capabilities that replicate the modern health care environment.
Nursing students now get immersive practical experience in additional hospital rooms, exam rooms, interview rooms and they debrief in larger, more technology-rich spaces that are supported by a greater computer infrastructure.
“The expansion of the CSC represents an exciting opportunity for the nursing program,” said School of Nursing (SON) Interim Director Iris Mullins. “The relocation and expansion bring efficiencies and synergies that enrich nursing students with virtual reality experiences that are important complements to their classroom and clinical experiences.”
The expansion marks the first-ever renovation of Radford’s CSC, formerly in the RU Corporate Park, since opening in 2006. The Radford CSC now includes two “wings”– a wing simulating the hospital environment with rooms devoted to obstetric, pediatric and medical/surgical care and a wing simulating a health care clinic or doctors’ offices.
“We can now provide more state-of-the-art simulation education with faculty who are simulation experts,” said Cindy Cunningham, CSC Director. “Learning takes place in debriefing and we have ample space and technology by which our students can review their work on their own and with faculty, plus an even more realistic environment.”
The Radford CSC has been expanded by increasing hospital simulation rooms from four to seven and examination rooms from two to six. Additional debriefing rooms, video spaces and storage for the CSC’s 37-model cast of high-fidelity simulators, or patients, has improved the CSC operational flow and added capacity, according to Cunningham. The Cook Hall CSC also includes an apartment in which students work with standardized patients, or actors who portray patients, to replicate the home health care environment.
“The new nurse call system and BD Pyxis MedStations are typical of technology found in most acute care facilities and nursing homes, so they will make our replication of a nurse’s environment even richer,” Cunningham said. “We can now provide our students with invaluable practical experiences that build their confidence, proficiency and clinical judgment in a safe environment.”
The BD Pyxis MedStation is an automated medication dispensing system that the CSC nursing students will work with as they transition into their clinical rotations and into practice. A nurse call system enables communication between patients and nurses to enhance quality of care.
The Radford SON operates two CSCs. The CSC site at the Roanoke Higher Education Center was expanded and revamped in January 2018. The Radford CSC site at the RU Corporate Park, which in 2017 served more than 1,250 students in almost 3,000 sessions for simulations of a range of medical events from congestive heart failure to depression to pediatric appendicitis, was the original CSC site.
The CSC in Cook Hall serves SON students from the Radford campus and nursing students from New River and Wytheville Community Colleges. The RHEC site serves nursing students from Radford’s RHEC cohort as well as students from the Jefferson College of Health Sciences and Patrick Henry Community College.
The Radford CSC site will host a ribbon cutting and open house this fall.