Simulation Lab

Well, today I’m at clinical in the simulation lab at school. I have to be honest, the Sim. Lab frightens me to know end.
Why? At the end of last semester, we had a simulation lab without ever being told what one was or what to expect. We actually didnt even know we were going to a skills lab that was any different. In this kind of lab though….anything can happen. Patients can throw up, scream, seize, die, need multiple IVs, suctioning, catheters, Hemovac drains, angry families….all at once!!! Last semester, I was in the first group to go and was trying to give meds while the patient (which had a voice box) was screaming and throwing up. Scarred for life.
The horror stories of simulation lab are pretty amazing. The first group to go this semester had multiple students crying in front of their patients apparently. And because they cried in front of their patients (which are dummies but are supposed to be treated like real patients in a real clinical setting) they got marked down. Some groups got sent home for “not coming in with any brain density” and being totally unprepared. I’m in the second group which is this week and next.
The first half went pretty well though- no tears yet!!
We have scenarios with three patients in each one. We switch roles for each patient. For the first patient, I was the silent observer which was great. For the second one, I was charge nurse overseeing all the other roles, guiding, and documenting along with talking with the doctors. I did a good job and got excellent feedback which I am very excited about!

In the last scenario I was the IV/treatment nurse and did a dressing change, trach care, and suctioning. I started off not remembering some stuff but after I got over my nerves it was a piece of cake.
Overall, a great clinical day πŸ™‚

    • Mom
    • August 26th, 2009

    You’re going to be an amazing nurse. And I’m not just saying that cuz I love you! Good job, glad things went well. πŸ™‚

    • stinadotme
    • August 26th, 2009

    Awesome job Laney! I am not jealous over that fact you have dummies that actually do something. Ours just sit their with those unblinking eyes… and if there was an order for them to recieve a needle we would inject into a inject-a-pad thing on the side table. Hahaha.

    I have the worst fear of practical testing though, which doesn’t make it any easier.

    And I agree with -who I am assuming is your Mom- you’re going to be an amazing nurse. πŸ™‚

    • FormerNsgTchr
    • August 28th, 2009

    Wow! I am a former nursing instructor who taught clinicals exclusively in the simulation lab. Your post was forwarded on to me and I must say that my chin literally hit the floor as I read with great dismay about how your simulation experiences are being handled.
    The simulation lab is supposed to provide you as the student with the opportunity to practice not only the technical skills of nursing, but your critical thinking and decision making in a safe environment…an environment that is safe for the patient (you’re not practicing on real ones πŸ™‚ and more importantly, safe for YOU to learn. Those of us who understand what the simulation lab is all about allow you to make mistakes in a controlled environment where no harm is done. We instructors can then help you understand what went well, what didn’t go so well, and help clarify your thinking and decision-making in those instances when mistakes are made…all without “marking you down.” After all, we all learn best by our mistakes and better them happen to a simulator where you can learn from them than later on a real patient.
    I wish your experiences could be different for you, but commend you for still seeing it as a great clinical day. Keep your head! I wish you well.

    • Well, the one last semester was really that horrible. But, luckily, this semester was different. It was a great learning experience where we could make mistakes and really talk it out. That’s what my instructor was big on. Talking out our thought processes so that we’d realize that we knew more than we thought.
      That other group got marked down for crying in front of the client….ahhh!

      Thanks for the feedback! Please come by more often πŸ™‚

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