A new home and big show of private support are helping the Division of Nursing in its efforts to provide top quality healthcare to the residents of Northern California.
Classes have begun in the new Folsom Hall, a former office building that has been transformed into a first-rate teaching facility. Improvements haved continued throughout the year, and the biggest change students are seeing from the Division’s former cramped quarters in El Dorado Hall is the abundance of laboratory and classroom space, including a fully-equipped clinical simulation lab.
The new lab, featuring state-of-the-art human patient simulators—mannequins that mimic the symptoms and mannerisms of live patients, including a mother giving birth, was made possible by a $500,000 grant from the Frank M. and Gertrude R. Doyle Foundation. These life-size “patients” enable students to practice the techniques and processes they’ve learned in the classroom in a hospital-type environment, complete with functioning hospital beds and bed-side monitoring equipment.
While the University has been using simulated patients on a limited basis, the new lab will improve access and bring clinical processes to play in all types of coursework. “Simulation gives us the ability, in every class, to employ the clinical environment without relying on our fellow agencies to provide services, which are in short supply,” says Ann Stoltz, professor and chair of the Division of Nursing.
“The Simulation Learning Center helped our organization develop a new model for our critical care course,” says Jill Paterson, administrative director of the Continuing Education Consortium. “It was visionary leadership at the Division of Nursing that sought to develop this service/academic partnership, which has greatly benefited our member hospitals and our community.”
The simulation lab is just one way nursing students are preparing for real-world situations. Other labs are stocked with the same equipment nurses can expect to find in a hospital or clinical setting—IV pumps, electronic high blood pressure cuffs, glucometers, even hospital beds and exam tables
It’s all part of an exciting effort to expand the number of students the program can serve. But making the new 188,000 square-foot facility operational has entailed a number of other elements including identifying funding sources to equip skills and computer labs, classrooms and offices. A first step came from the University Foundation at Sacramento State, which committed to raising $500,000 in funds to match the Doyle gift.
“We are committed to helping create an outstanding educational environment for Sac State’s nursing students,” says George Crandell, chair of the University Foundation board. “At some point, a nurse will touch your life. You will want that nurse to have the best training possible.”
Along with its obvious benefits to students, Folsom Hall offers the potential to increase the University’s service to the community.
An on-site community clinic would give low-income residents a neighborhood health care alternative. Under the oversight of faculty, student nurses could provide well-child physicals or foot checks for senior citizens, administer flu shots and offer community education classes.
Other plans for Folsom Hall could one day include serving as a secondary triage center in the event of a regional emergency. In addition, outside agencies could have access to the Division of Nursing’s equipment for training and there is even a vision for using the simulation lab to work with first responders on scenarios for organ and tissue donation at the scene of an accident.
Depending on the status of state funding and private giving, the University anticipates being able to expand student enrollment as early as fall 2011.
Sonney L. Chong, DMD
Dr. Patricia Clark-Ellis
Dean Emerita, Sacramento State
Christine Hall ’81
Law Office of Christine R. Hall
Dr. Marilyn Hopkins ’70
Provost and Chief Operating Officer
Touro University California
Cole Stewart Consulting LLC
Dr. Ann Stoltz ’91, ’95
Sacramento State – Division of Nursing
Dr. Annita Watson