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Skills and Simulation Laboratories
The Skills and Simulation Laboratories are sophisticated learning environments and one of GW School of Nursing’s most esteemed features. With a recent expansion providing more than 10,000 square feet of lab space, more than 30 mock hospital bed stations and exam areas, a home health studio apartment, two private rooms and birthing and pediatrics simulation, nurses-in-training experience life in a hospital long before their first clinical experience. In the lab, Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) and Veterans BSN students develop competencies in multiple simulated health care settings that cross the human life span.
The lab is home to a variety of simulated (manikin) patients ranging in age from infant to adult, and displaying conditions from stagnant to high-fidelity. More than 30 manikins—who have names, personal histories, and lifelike features such as a pulse, voice, blinking eyes, and spurting blood—have physiologically accurate responses to the care provided by students. Additional equipment such as IV pumps, EKG monitors, medication carts, crash carts, and isolation carts add to the reality of the learning space. This presents a sophisticated hospital simulated environment—a “Virtual Hospital”—in which students synthesize didactic and clinical knowledge as they transition into professional practice.
To facilitate the simulated learning environment, our labs have control rooms with one way mirrors that allow faculty, without being physically at the bedside, to direct and evaluate student performance. Our labs are equipped with state-of-the-art, award winning, custom-designed audio-visual equipment used for both formative and evaluative competencies. Also, debriefing rooms are utilized to conduct reflective discussions following a simulated learning experience.
Work in the Skills and Simulation Laboratories is integrated throughout the Accelerated BSN and Veterans BSN curriculum, beginning with Fundamental Basic Learning and Skills Training (BLAST), in which students learn basic hygiene, mobility, and feeding skills. The GW School of Nursing BLAST model incorporates the use of simulation to develop students’ knowledge and skills acquisition before their clinical experiences, and lays a foundation for critical reasoning, synthesis, and analysis of increasingly complex care scenarios as students progress through the curriculum. As students become more advanced, they participate in BLAST sessions for obstetrics/gynecology, psychiatric, pediatric, and community health courses. Also, students complete the capstone course with a Virtual Hospital experience.
The Skills and Simulation Laboratories present a sophisticated and innovative learning environment in which students synthesize didactic and clinical knowledge as they transition into professional practice. In the Labs, students learn and are required to demonstrate quality and safe nursing care, teamwork, collaboration, and effective communication. Located in the School of Nursing at the GW Virginia Science and Technology Campus, the Labs are an integral part of Accelerated BSN and Veterans BSN students’ learning experience.