A gift from The Donald B. and Dorothy L. Stabler Foundation of Harrisburg enabled the Stabler Department of Nursing to expand its simulation opportunities for students. The $1.8 million gift was used for simulation labs in Diehl Hall.
“Mr. and Mrs. Donald Stabler were firm believers in higher education, and the gifts from the foundation reflect their values,” said Dan Helwig, dean of College Advancement at York.
Jackie Harrington, D.Ed., Nursing program chair during the construction of the simulation labs, is also a big supporter of simulations as a curricular enhancement. In fact, she believes that all of the College’s seven clinical courses should include a simulation experience.
“A lot of assessment skills can be learned on high-fidelity patient simulators,” she said. “We can set up a scenario, then allow students to interact. The results are quickly apparent, so the students learn right then and there what they need to do differently. The simulators allow them to practice in situations where no harm is rendered.”
The new simulation labs provide ample space to properly complete multiple simulations on lifelike simulators in a safe, realistic hospital setting.
“Simulation appeals to today’s students who are tech-savvy, hands-on and group-oriented learners,” said Debbie Barton, Nursing lab coordinator.
The Department of Nursing already had a number of high-fidelity simulators to go in the labs, such as SimMan3G, a manikin that has blood pressure, pulses, pupils that change size, heart, lung and bowel sounds; Noelle, a manikin that goes through a normal labor and delivery; Anne VitalSim, a full-body, anatomically accurate manikin that can be used to simulate ECGs, heart sounds, fetal heart sounds, breath sounds, bowel sounds, blood pressure and pulses; and Megacode Kid, a realistic manikin for training in a wide range of pediatric nursing skills.
Using federal grant funds, the nursing department acquired three more SimMan 3Gs and five VitalSims. From another grant, they purchased Baby Hal, a full-size newborn simulator.
“In addition to helping our students, simulation also helps with patient safety,” said Barton. “The thinking is the use of patient simulation in nursing education will help the student prevent medication errors, develop critical thinking and clinical decision-making skills, use effective communication skills and function well as a member of a team.”