Simulation Centers and Faculty/Staff Development

Picture of Janette Ryan
Re: Looking for a mentor
by Janette Ryan - Wednesday, February 6, 2013, 2:01 PM

Hi Melissa,

I'm relatively new in my position also, as the Nursing Skills Lab Manager at a private College with Nursing Programs that include PN, ADN and RN to BSN [online] programs, among others.  I can relate to your wondering how to do what needs to be done.  We have two nursing skills labs with mid-fidelity, Laerdal, Nurse Anne & Nurse Kelly manikins, including a Mega-Code Kelly - which has more capability [including running a code & using telemetry].  We do not have what is called any high-fidelity manikins at this time.  I've had a crash course in learning a lot of what is involved in this role since hire, and I suspect I'm not as technologically savvy as you are; but I've been learning!  I sure know more about these manikins and this role in this setting, than I did 6 months ago!  

Currently we do not do full scenarios at the PN level, since their course of study is very fast paced in just 4 terms and so many come into the program with only a high school background and maybe some STNA experience [if].  So they are flat out just learning the basics and basic PN skills.  The PN students and our ADN students do practice on the manikins during the skills lab component of their lab component courses, everything from Fundamentals of Nursing, Med-Surg I and II, OB/PEDS, IV, etc.  In addition to their lectures and didactic components, they have a clinical component and a lab component to many of their courses.  So the PN students learn and practice quite a few skills in the nursing skills lab using manikins - doing everything from peri-care to vital signs, basic physical assessment skills, Medication administration, IV starts, catheterization, wound care, trach care, maternal and newborn assessments, etc. all in 4 terms. 

We do use manikins [yep, that's the correct spelling for this kind of manikin] and NLN - Volume I and now Volume II scenarios, in 4 of the ADN courses, which also have a lab component.  Not every nursing course has a lab component, but those that do, have a syllabus that includes didactic [lecture], lab, and clinical. 

The lab portion is designed to meet the skill based objectives in the syllabi for that course.  The syllabi and skills to be "Checked-Off" for each course are determined by the course faculty and routed through the Curriculum Committee, for each lab-based course.  Of course that is determined by policy and procedure for curriculum and per course. 

SO you'll need to know and be familiar with which courses will use the lab and what the syllabi and objectives are for your school as well.  IN the lab, for each new and required skill, students receive a skill demonstration by assigned Lab Lead Faculty for that course, to complement what they've also had in lecture.  Then they have scheduled practice time during more scheduled [weekly] lab time; and finally must perform the skill successfully per skill check-off sheets developed by faculty on a designated date.  They are allowed up to two attempts to pass each required skill during their labs, with remediation if unsuccessful on their 1st attempt, as needed between the two attempts.  These skills are determined per course, and are implemented by each course at each campus during the Nursing Skills Lab for that course, as assigned weekly.           

We have been using 8 Laerdal, mid-fidelity manikins which we have distributed in 2 nursing skills labs, using them with the VitalSim base units - which have many signs/symptoms and vital signs preprogramed; plus being programable with NLN scenarios.  These VitalSim base units are in the process of being phased out by Laerdal to be replaced with electronic SimPads.  We also use newborn manikins for the PN-OB/Peds course.  We just purchased the some of the new Laerdal SimPads [something new to learn about!], which will steadily be replacing the VitalSim base units.  The SimPads are needed to be able to access and use the newest - NLN Volume II [online only] scenarios as needed, which we're going to use for ADN level courses with a lab component [last term].  We continue to use the NLN - Vol. 1 scenarios for 3 of our ADN courses, and now NLN - Vol. 2 [online only] for their Transition to RN lab.   

Each term's schedule is made out and confirmed by our ADON in advance, so thankfully, most of the lab-based courses are kept at the same times & days each term; which facilitates didactic, lab and clinical.  It also helps me so I can plan and function with some consistency.  Although my role will likely continue to evolve, currently I work with faculty for 4 PN courses with a lab component and 4 ADN courses with a nursing skills lab component. 

I also schedule all Open Labs [practice] and any remediation, not to mention other job responsibilities around those scheduled course lab times.  Thankfully our program has assigned Lab Lead faculty for each of these courses, so I facilitate or assist them and anything nursing skills lab based.  That includes at a minimum:  Purchasing = pricing, obtaining, re-stocking all disposable supplies used in the lab every term for every lab-based course on two levels, as well as DME = durable medical equipment & supplies; replacing IV skin/tubing on the IV arms on manikins as needed, repairing/adjusting manikins; setting up ADN scenarios weekly,  developing moulage for scenarios or lab classes, assist during lab courses as needed due to high enrollment; assisting with Skill Check-Off's as needed, making sure only current Skills Check-Off sheets are in use by faculty & students; current remediation based paperwork and routing it to appropriate faculty, following up on and tracking remediation, supervision of Open Labs, supervision of work study student; and other related college activities like meetings and committees, etc.     

SO, that's JUST an example of the tip of the iceberg!  Hopefully it shows how the lab can be integrated into the curriculum.  I decided to briefly [believe it or not!] describe all of the above - so you could see if input from me would be helpful to you!

You can feel free to contact me by e-mail if this is of interest to you.  Even if you're not interested, I thought it might be helpful to someone!    

Hang in there!  Janette Ryan