Nursing Lab Gains Human-Patient Simulator by Donation

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While Washington State Community College nursing students enjoy a hands-on approach to their clinicals, thanks to training opportunities at local hospitals, they'll be getting a more personal experience right in their classrooms. During a dedication ceremony yesterday for the Dorothy Fouss Greacen Memorial Human Simulation Lab, the Health Sciences department announced the addition of an iStan human-patient simulator in their newly remodeled nursing lab.

istan-cropAccording to Dean of Health Sciences Dixie Vaughan, the wireless patient simulator and remodeling was made possible through a generous gift by former board of trustees' member and current WSCC Foundation board member, John Greacen, in memory of his wife. Dorothy Fouss Greacen started her career as a nurse in the U.S. Cadet Nurse Corp in 1943, became a registered nurse in 1946, and was a private duty nurse for many years in Marietta.

"Students struggle with the mastery of critical thinking skills, which are essential to their academic success," comments Vaughan, "Utilizing iStan is one way that we can empower our students to use critical thinking skills."

She also says the simulator doll brings more realism to the nursing lab setting.

Some of iStan's capabilities include: pupils that automatically dilate and constrict in response to light, thumb twitch in response to a peripheral nerve stimulator, recognition and response to administered drugs and dosages, variable lung compliance and airways resistance, automatic responses to needle decompression and control of urine output.

iStan allows realistic training from basic skills to advanced life-saving skills. By using this simulator in a nursing lab, learners address life-like health issue scenarios without risk to human patients.

"The simulation experience is a fun and highly-motivating experience conducted in a nonthreatening environment," adds Vaughan, "It's sort of like a safety net that also provides opportune time for working on critical thinking skills."

Vaughan says simulators like iStan are popular in health science labs across the nation. She believes the simulator and remodeled nursing lab, combined with the existing cadaver lab, will further enhance the quality of nursing education already provided at Washington State.

Through Greacen's generous gift to Washington State, the college was able to obtain the iStan simulator, at a cost of $94,249. According to Jess Raines, chief financial officer, the college invested $7,500 into the renovation of the Nursing Lab where iStan will reside.

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