Learning and Simulation Center
Technology Infused Learning
Changes in technology and in the way our students learn is at the heart of our new clinical skills simulation lab-a space dedicated to creating a deeper style of learning. It offers enhanced realism, advanced video technology and vital resources needed to help students grow into competent and confident professionals. Occupying approximately 7,000 square feet of space, the entire floor of the newly remodeled Libermann Hall is substantially larger than the previous clinical lab and offers an array of technology that increases realism, improves the quality of evaluation and enhances clinical learning.
In the new center, state-of -the-art patient simulators and the latest digital recording technology are integrated in unique and effective ways. Video recording and sophisticated playback capabilities in the Robert and Mary Weisbrod Fundamental Skills Lab help clinical instructors pinpoint problems and provide students with performance-based, individualized feedback.
Additionally, a conference room in the center is equipped with a Mondopad, a large video monitor, which features intuitive touch-screen controls, interfaces easily with hand-held computers and mobile phones, and supports remote viewing from any location that has Internet access.
There is also new equipment to help increase realism in nursing simulations and create meaningful and effective learning experiences. For example, neonatal and NICU simulations are now benefitting from the recent acquisition of a birthing bed, neonatal monitor, ventilator, incubator and infant warmer. These costly items are often out of reach for all but the largest nursing schools, but were provided to Duquesne University through the generosity of Pocket Nurse one of two important gifts that helped to create the center.
In all simulation areas, the oxygen flow meters and wall-mounted suction equipment work just like their counterparts in real clinical settings. And for maximum realism, audio recordings and special "short throw" video projectors are used to re-create the visual and auditory qualities of a hospital.
From a nearby control room or from their offices, instructors can control simulation mannequins that are capable of emitting lung and bowel sounds, or normal and abnormal pulses and heartbeats. Students can apply dressings to a mannequin's wounds or perform catheterizations, injections and irrigations as well as practice intubation and defibrillation.
These mannequins have the physical characteristics and the symptoms of maladies corresponding to male and female patients in every stage of life. One of the female mannequins even progresses in the stages of pregnancy and gives birth.
Perhaps the most adaptable and realistic of the mannequins is SimMan 3G, which can be manipulated wirelessly to react to correct or incorrect drugs and dosages.With convincing fidelity, SimMan 3G exhibits a range of physiologic responses, including changes in pupils and eyelid movement; bleeding, secretion of fluids, perspiration and tears; mimicking seizures; and emitting speech and vocal sounds.
The entire Learning and Simulation Center has a highly efficient floor plan that includes the Robert and Mary Weisbrod Fundamental Skills Lab along with areas for instruction in acute care, health assessment, basic care, medication and home care, as well as two large classrooms. It also has standardized patient rooms where outpatient clinic visits can be simulated. Combined, those areas can easily accommodate eight to 10 clinical groups of eight students each, along with the clinical faculty members who are instructing each group.
The center also accommodates flexible scheduling. It has open lab sessions for students who want to learn on their own time. Clinical faculty members always have the options of bringing classes back to the center and referring individual students to the center, if necessary, for remediation.