The Nursing Learning Laboratories at Carthage College give BSN nursing students a space in which to hone their skills and prepare for their careers. The 3,000-square-foot facility, new in 2017, is divided into a simulation lab and a skills lab.
Low-Fidelity and High-Fidelity Mannequins
The simulation lab features four low-fidelity mannequins and four high-fidelity mannequins. The low-fidelity mannequins help students learn basic anatomy and introductory processes such as inserting an IV or catheter.
The high-fidelity mannequins are completely computerized and are designed to be lifelike. They include an adult male, a child, an infant, and a pregnant female. They sweat, breathe, have a pulse, and their eyes dilate; the pregnant female gives birth. The mannequins are designed to give students a close approximation of dealing with a human patient without being so lifelike that students can’t build the confidence necessary for nurses to possess.
Physical treatment is only part of a nurse’s duty. Interacting with patients verbally is also a large part of a nurse’s day-to-day routine. Carthage theatre students will put their skills on display to help nursing students hone their bedside manner; the theatre students will verbally express symptoms and simulate the things that no mannequin — no matter how lifelike — can.
Video Debriefing Room
In addition to the mannequins, the lab is outfitted with a video debriefing room so students can see what they did right and where they can improve. Repeating simulations and examining the results is key in educating nurses. That repetition is part of a teaching strategy called determined practice, which is viewed as a best practice in the nursing education community.