Walters State nursing students benefiting from new simulation room

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GREENEVILLE, Tenn. (WJHL) – It is one of the most important aspects of learning to be a nurse, how to translate the book knowledge into actually working on a patient.

However, getting clinical time can be challenging.

Now, students at Walters State Community College in Greeneville are getting that training without the need for real patients by using a nursing simulation room.

The brand new simulation room comes with the recently completed Niswonger campus at Walters State.

“It definitely builds your confidence, knowing what to expect when you come in here,” said sophomore and first year nursing student Lukas Lawson.

On Monday, Lawson was at work in the new simulation room.

“It familiarizes you with actually doing it on real people besides just book work,” he said.

Students are given a number of treatment scenarios to perform on a life-like mannequins during the simulations, while teachers watch the scene play out in the operating room and in a one-way mirrored control room.

“We can set up a scenario where we can have the mannequin or patient change what’s happening on a minute-to-minute basis,” said Kathleen Jones, Associate Professor of Nursing.

“The wonderful thing about simulation is that you are challenging the students and you are preparing them for a clinical setting without any harm to the patient,” said Cherylynn Bradeen, Simulation Coordinator.

Bradeen says simulation rooms are crucial for students because it is getting more difficult to get clinical time in a real hospital setting.

“A lot of research has been done to prove that simulation actually does help patient care in the end,” said Bradeen, “so we can actually substitute up to 50 percent of our clinical time if need be.”

Right now, Walters State has more than 200 nursing students, according to Jones.

Jones said students use the simulation room a few times a semester.

“We’re looking at doing more and more,” she said, “and more complex.”

Jones also said a number of students end up staying in the area, which adds to the need for better ways to teach students.

“What we really want is to make good nurses and this is part of the pathway to get to that,” said Bradeen.

The nursing simulation rooms are also new to the Morristown and Sevierville campuses of Walters State Community College.

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