LSSU nursing program receives big boost to simulation laboratory
Posted: December 16th, 2012
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SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. – The R.W. Considine Foundation has presented an early Christmas gift to the region: a $400,000 donation to be used to purchase state-of-the-art, high-fidelity mannequins, part of a proposed new nursing simulation center in downtown Sault Ste. Marie.
The donation was presented to the LSSU Foundation for the center, a joint project between the city, Lake Superior State University and War Memorial Hospital that will train LSSU students, WMH staff, first responders and other healthcare professionals in the region. The “family” of computer-controlled, wireless mannequins that the donation will secure will find their permanent home in the simulation center in the coming year.
The proposed simulation center will allow students and healthcare workers to practice their skills on the equipment that responds to their care just as human patients would. The lab’s partners and some of its potential beneficiaries took a look at the equipment during a kick-off in November that showcased a number of the training mannequins manufactured by Laerdal Medical of Norway. The donation will fund five mannequins including a SimMan® SimMom™, SimBaby™, SimJunior® and ALS Man designed for paramedic training. Students and seasoned healthcare workers will use the equipment to learn new techniques and perfect time-tested methods of care in the very near future.
ADVANCED HEALTHCARE EDUCATION -- Lake Superior State University nursing students examine a mannequin in a laboratory on campus. The students, along with area healthcare workers, will be able to train in an advanced simulation lab in the near future as plans for a downtown Sault, Mich. facility come to fruition. Pictured here from l-r are Sam Balzer, a senior from Auburn; Emily Schaub, junior, Lake Leelanau; and Elizabeth Schlaud, junior, Caro.
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“This donor group had the goal of maximizing the impact of their donation,” said Tom Coates, Executive Director of the LSSU Foundation. “These are astute business people who were convinced of the merit of this project following the on-campus presentation by LSSU Prof. Jodi Orm and the demonstration of the mannequins by the Laerdal representatives.”
“This is excellent news for a very important project,” said LSSU President Tony McLain. “We’re grateful for the donor group’s generosity in support of health care education at LSSU, and want to thank alumnus Ron Meister, President of Central Savings Bank, for bringing this opportunity to the LSSU Foundation.”
LSSU students and many other healthcare providers have learned on low-fidelity mannequins for many years. Members of the public have learned about cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on mannequins, also. The proposed LSSU-WMH simulation laboratory would feature the latest technology, with computer-controlled, wireless mannequins that can give feedback to those being trained, just as a patient would in real situations. These mannequins can do many things that humans can do, including bleed, blink, cry, and even deliver a baby.
“War Memorial Hospital healthcare providers will be able to enhance their skills and knowledge in order to ensure superior patient outcomes in a safe, simulated environment,” said David Jahn, an LSSU alumnus who is CEO of the hospital. “With this partnership, LSSU will have the means to bring a simulation program to the downtown area while continuing its longstanding collaboration with War Memorial Hospital.”
LSSU has long been known for its nursing program that trains students for work in both U.S. and Canadian healthcare fields. Students in the program are placed in area hospitals, including WMH, for clinical experience, and this new simulation laboratory will allow students to get more experience before they are trained with healthcare providers in the field.
“It will not only help our students, but it can and will be used to meet the continuing educational needs of all healthcare practitioners whether it be for certifications, competency training, or refresher courses,” said LSSU Nursing Prof. Jodi Orm, one of the leaders of the project. “We can also simulate environments for other members of our community; for example, bereavement situations for hospice volunteers and caregiver training for family members of the ill. The possibilities are endless. The entire region is going to benefit in one way or another with the creation of this new center. Just because we all live in a rural area does not mean we do not deserve to have access to state-of-the-art innovative learning environments like this. This is very exciting for all of us.”
“We’re going to save lives with this facility through teaching new ways of taking care of patients and being more ready than we could ever be, given the scenarios we have for teaching right now without simulation’s great outcomes,” said WMH Vice President of Nursing Sue Tetzlaff. A nationwide shortage of nurses also means there are fewer professionals who can take the time to train new nurses. The simulation lab will help in that regard, allowing nursing schools such as LSSU to eventually accept more students and get them ready to work in the healthcare field.
In addition to benefits for LSSU students and area healthcare workers, the proposed laboratory will benefit the community. Its downtown location will help bridge the gap between students and community, something the city has been advocating in many ways, but especially through “Sault United,” a university-community group that includes not only LSSU, WMH, and the city, but also the Sault Area Public Schools and Eastern U.P. Intermediate School District.
“The City of Sault Ste. Marie has embraced this concept with establishing this lab downtown,” said Sault Downtown Development Authority Director Justin Knepper. “The center will bring additional visitors to the area due to the number of people visiting it for training opportunities.”
The lab will attract professionals from outside Sault Ste. Marie for training, in addition to local students and healthcare professionals. As part of this unique partnership, the Sault DDA may be able to procure a grant to assist with preparing a site for the lab.
The lead gift will help launch a capital campaign to build support for the simulation center. For more information on how you can help make the lab a reality for our region, contact Orm at 906-635-2144, firstname.lastname@example.org; or Coates, 906 635-6670, email@example.com. -LSSU-
There’s still time to improve your tax situation for 2012. Gifts postmarked by Dec. 31 to the LSSU Foundation in support of the LSSU Simulation Lab will qualify for a federal tax credit on itemized tax returns. You may also qualify for a tax credit in your state of residence.
CONTACT: Tom Pink, 906-635-2315, firstname.lastname@example.org; John Shibley, 635-2314, email@example.com; Tom Coates, LSSU Foundation, 635-6670, firstname.lastname@example.org; Prof. Jodi Orm, LSSU Nursing, 635-2144