story - sim centre


Putting the practice in Practical Nurse

Our Simulation Centre gets learners ready for the real thing.

When Kaitlin Raychert was doing her clinical placement, she walked into a patient’s room, and the patient’s oxygen level was very low. Kaitlin knew exactly what to do. She had practiced this scenario in the Simulation Centre at Bow Valley College.   

The Simulation Centre is a space with mannequins that simulate real life patients with different medical problems, and is used by our Practical Nurse and Health Care Aide learners. It lets these learners practice their skills in a safe and efficient way.   

The example of Kaitlin – who is a second-year Practical Nurse learner – shows that the centre prepares students to deal with the same types of responsibilities they will have on the job. In that example, they would administer oxygen through the vitals machine, and coach the patient to deep breathe to increase their oxygen saturation. 

Another part of that practice is learning how to react in a highly stressful situation. “In a high stress situation, you panic,” says Kaitlin. “[The Simulation Centre] teaches you how to control that panic.” 

A lot of the feedback in the Simulation Centre is on communication with your patient and fellow staff, adds Kaitlin. You learn what to say, what not to say, and how to prioritize your time.

Learners can further deepen their nursing knowledge by volunteering to be a patient in their peers’ simulation scenarios. Kaitlin has volunteered a couple of times. She has acted as a patient, and as the mother of a sick child. “I really enjoy volunteering because I feel like it makes me a better a nurse, and it makes me a better learner,” she says. Volunteering demonstrates how her classmates react in a situation, and lets her understand how a patient or the parent of a patient might feel. “I wish more students would volunteer, because seeing how the other side works has really grown my knowledge.”
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Posted on March 14, 2018

Story by Julie-Anne Cleyn, photo by Maximillian Krewiak

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