The spilt-second decisions a nurse makes in a hospital room can be the difference between life and death. The occupation itself has always been essential in the medical world. Nursing is a profession where the focus is on an individual who is in need of help whether it be physically or mentally. Nursing students at BYU-Idaho train in simulated real-life situations to prepare them for the medical field and what they’ll need.
In simulations, students first gather in a briefing room where a professor gives them a certain amount of information about a patient they are getting ready to work on. From there they have their assignments to prepare for the simulation.
The university spends thousands of dollars on technology and other teaching aids to help simulate real-life hospital situations. A high-tech monitoring room is used to watch the students as they operate. The school also owns mannequins that simulate incredible things including a voice coming out of the mannequin that comes from the instructors in the control room. The LEAP database system allows actual vital signs to come from the mannequin. Things like heartbeats, breathing and even their facial expressions can all be changed from the monitoring room.
To make the situation feel even more real, student actors from the theatre department play a panicked family member or spouse to give the students an understanding of what could happen in the hospital room.
Learning how to handle intense situations with people who are stressing out is critical to become a good nurse. Instructors want to give all their students the tools they need to save lives.
Linda Ward is a teacher in the nursing program and has a decorated resume of nursing experience. She was the instructor overseeing this simulation. She has had years of experience in the nursing field and expressed how lucky students are at BYU-Idaho to have such great equipment.
“We have all kinds of different mannequins in the nursing department,” she said. “I can set their hearts to sound like anything, their lungs to sound like anything, if they want to pick up wheezing or if I want them to see that the person is in the second degree heart block, I can set that up and see if they can pick up those changes.”
She even mentioned that there was a mannequin that delivers a baby.
“I think that the simulation correlates pretty well with how things are ran in a hospital,” said Dalton Alexander, nursing student. “Doing simulations and then going to clinicals are very helpful.”
Embarking on this journey of nursing has its blessings when you work hard and put your faith into what you believe in. Students can be found studying in the library or on campus in their blue scrubs usually in groups working on their studies. They all have different motivations to become a nurse, but no matter what the reason, they all have to work hard and learn the skills to be successful in the medical field.