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Sacramento State’s Division of Nursing is providing a rich learning environment for future nurses in its additional space and with new, high-tech equipment at Folsom Hall.  Faculty and students moved into the 37,000-square-foot facility in January, and an open house is scheduled for Friday, May 6.

Students are giving the new clinic-like facility rave reviews. “I’ve found that it’s really helped in my actual hospital rotations,” says Heather Holiman, a first-year, second- semester nursing student. “I’m much more comfortable with patients now because I’ve done it in a simulation where nothing bad is actually going to happen.”

The simulation labs, also called Sims, are high-tech mannequins that are hooked up to computers. “They are learning in an environment that prepares them to not to be too surprised when they go into the hospital environment and when they actually get their job,” says Carolynn Goetz, Sacramento State Nursing Division Chair. “They are certainly much more prepared to be able to care for patients.” 

Sims are able to replicate a variety of symptoms and illnesses, including heart attacks, strokes and breathing trouble. “We just got done working on a ‘patient’ who has presented with techno cardio (atrial) fibrillation,” says nursing student Jessica Potts. “I wouldn’t have known what to do if I had walked into an ER setting and the patient had presented with the symptoms that he had.”

Sacramento State faculty and administrators are applauding the partnership of the public and private sector that made the move to Folsom Hall and the purchase of the high-tech equipment possible. “We are really driven by faculty knowledge, faculty ability and faculty willingness to move our curriculum in a positive, forward direction to incorporate simulation,” says Sacramento State professor Ann Stoltz. “It’s really a win- win. We have faculty, we have corporations willing to support us, so we are going to have better-prepared students for the region.”