Precious Idiake spoke to her patient in a calming tone as she checked her vital signs and offered insight into the process — all while a room full of people looked on.
The fourth-year Brock Nursing student demonstrated the ways in which she and her peers interact with patient simulators in the University’s new Nursing Clinical Simulation Lab during a grand opening held for the space on Thursday, Sept. 22.
Set up to mirror a hospital unit, the lab in Brock’s East Academic building provides a safe environment for students to gain valuable hands-on experience and further develop their skills and confidence as they prepare for clinical placements in the health-care field.
The new space will support the significant growth recently experienced by the University’s nationally recognized Nursing programs.
“The Department of Nursing has almost tripled in size within the past two years,” says Department Chair Karyn Taplay. “The new lab will enhance our ability to deliver nursing education that is innovative, current and realistic of what students will encounter in clinical practice.”
This September, Brock welcomed 228 incoming Bachelor of Science in Nursing students — its largest ever cohort. In May, the University also welcomed its first students in the concurrent Bachelor of Nursing/Master of Nursing accelerated program, which is the first of its kind in Canada.
Nursing students will participate in lifelike simulation training in the new lab space, which will prepare them to care for diverse patients from birth to end of life.
“With its state-of-the-art equipment and infrastructure, this lab teaches students how to think, analyze and respond appropriately and effectively to a variety of situations they will encounter in the real world,” says Peter Tiidus, Dean of the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences. “We are preparing our students to enter the health-care field with confidence, be agents of change and to be able to respond to challenging situations they will experience along the way.”
Training future nurses remains a priority for Brock, as it continues to help respond to changing health needs in Niagara and Ontario that have emerged due to the COVID-19 pandemic, says Brian Power, the University’s Vice-Provost and Associate Vice-President, Academic.
“Providing more opportunities for Nursing students to turn theory into practice is a key building block in addressing Ontario’s nursing crisis and helping to stabilize health care in our communities,” he says. “The learning undertaken in this lab will directly translate into addressing the shortage of qualified nurses, keeping emergency departments and hospitals open, lowering wait times and improving quality of care.”
With the new 1,700-square-foot lab complementing two existing facilities, Brock now has a combined 4,500 square feet of dedicated Nursing lab space on campus.
For more information on Brock’s Nursing programs, visit the Department of Nursing website.