Nursing students receive many opportunities to practice the skills and knowledge they learn from textbooks and classroom courses, but simulations that realistically depict simulations they’ll encounter as working nurses is vital in preparing future nurses. At Bethel University, nursing simulations are an essential part of the undergraduate curriculum.
Paige Goenner, a recent Bethel Nursing graduate, explains to Bethel.edu how simulation experiences have impacted her development as a nurse: “Normally, if you’re showing everything you’ve learned in a test, you’re just answering test questions as opposed to showing, ‘this is who I am as a nurse and this is who I’m going to be in my future practice.”
Nursing students at Bethel are exposed to both clinical experiences and nursing simulations to give them a well-rounded experience. Simulations allow them to practice a broad range of hands-on experiences like practicing injections and changing wound dressings. But students also learn through interactive, computer-based programs that allow them to engage with multiple scenarios like caring for a patient with a collapsed lung. These virtual simulations allow students to practice making critical decisions with room to make mistakes.
Students start working with life-like mannequins in their junior year, using mannequins that have a heartbeat, blood pressure, respiratory sounds, and other vital signs. The scenarios they are placed in grow increasingly complex in their senior year. This type of practice allows nursing students to build advanced nursing and critical thinking skills so that they can provide a higher level of care after graduating.
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