Inside UABSON’s Nursing Competencies Suites

By Laura Gasque

The University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Nursing celebrated Health Care Simulation Week with an open house of its Nursing Competencies Suites. The Office of Technology and Innovation invited faculty, staff and students to take a tour to learn how they create engaging experiences with innovative simulation.

The event featured how each simulation developed for students is designed with active learner education and participation in mind and often includes high-fidelity manikins that can simulate everything from giving birth to a patient suffering a heart attack.

The simulation space faculty, staff and others toured is the site for program intensives and simulation experiences, where students can put the skills they’ve learned in the classroom to practice. Some of these experiences involve scenarios like a mass casualty event, where students learn their role as a care provider and how to react to the unknown.

“Simulation experiences allow students to be immersed in an environment where they can practice as if in the real clinical setting,” said Associate Professor and Interim Associate Dean for Clinical Simulation for Technology and Innovation Penni Watts, PhD, RN, CHSE-A, FSSH, FAAN (PhD 2015).

Check out photos from the open house in the photos below:

Photo 1
The Office of Technology and Innovation team gathers at the nurses station for a group photo before the Health Care Simulation Week open house.
Photo 2
Visitors could explore each competency suite to learn more about simulation capabilities.
Photo 3
Assistant Professor Dr. Summer Powers explains how to defibrillate “Adult Hal.”
Photo 4
Assistant Professor Dr. Tracie White (on computer screen) explains the latest addition to the School’s simulation lab—a Simulab Surgical Abdomen. It’s a sophisticated simulation tool designed to provide a realistic and immersive experience in surgery to enhance surgical skills, teamwork and decision-making in a controlled environment. This setup also demonstrated the School’s distance simulation capabilities, with Dr. White providing instruction via zoom.
Photo 5
The pediatric manikin helps students learn how to treat and interact with children.
Photo 6
Visitors meet “Preemie Anne,” to experience how nurses learn to care for babies in the NICU.
Photo 7
Instructor Dr. Somali Nguyen explains how the Vimedex Augmented reality ultrasound and headset work.
Photo 8
Lab teacher Holli Mock holds a manikin that shows how shaken baby syndrome impacts a child’s brain.
Photo 9
Visitors listen to heart sounds and learn to take a manual blood pressure.
Photo 10
In one of the bed labs, multiple simulations can take place, including learning to start an IV.
Photo 11
Student workers show a variety of moulage—a technique used to simulate wounds that can be affixed to manikins to demonstrate various injuries from broken bones and cuts to gunshot injuries.

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