Kent State East Liverpool’s Nursing Lab Receives $70,000 in Upgrades
East Liverpool – Through a matching grant provided by the Ohio Mid-Eastern Governments Association (OMEGA), Kent State University at East Liverpool was able to make more than $70,000 in equipment upgrades to its nursing laboratory. Half of the funding was provided by the state through the Appalachian Regional Commission. The remaining funds were provided by Kent State East Liverpool. Recently, all the equipment purchasers were finalized.
“We’re very grateful to receive this new equipment,” said Nursing Director Dr. Anne Freitas, who oversees the schools’ associate degree program. “The new computerized simulation equipment we purchased will help our students apply their knowledge here in the lab before they go to their clinical sites. Through this grant, our students will learn new skills, improve their problem solving abilities and better apply the principles they’ve learned when caring for patients with various health care concerns and diseases.”
Freitas explained that prior to the upgrades the laboratory had limited simulation equipment. “The additional equipment will help enhance student learning and the program’s retention rates,” she said.
In addition to purchasing simulation equipment, the program was able to upgrade its medical and surgical audio-visual learning resources.
More than half the grant went toward the purchase of a METIman Nursing Patient Simulator, which is a full body wireless instrumented adult mannequin. Freitas explained that the METIman is programmable. She and her staff can use the all-encompassing clinical features to create possible situations the students might encounter on the job. The mannequin comes complete with blinking eyes, reactive pupils, chest excursion, tongue swelling, seven bilateral pulses, cardiac rhythms, defibrillation capabilities, heart, lung and bowel sounds, speech capabilities, convulsion capabilities and pulse oximeter capabilities.
In addition, the program was able to purchase a Noelle Maternal and Neonatal Birthing Simulator with a resuscitation baby and a Birthing Suite Package. The maternal and neonatal birthing simulator gives students an opportunity to assess and observe mother and fetus during the birthing process. The Birthing Suite Package provides students with a realistic birthing suite environment including a birthing bed, baby bassinet and infant scale.
Additional simulation equipment will help students practice wound management and working with vascular access devices such as implanted ports.
Freitas noted that because students will increase their abilities, area employers will reap the benefits of a more highly-skilled workforce. This includes first year nursing student Ashley Brundage, who said that the new equipment will better prepare her to enter the workforce. “I think it’s great to be able to work on more advanced equipment,” Brundage said. “It helps create real-life scenarios so I will be prepared when working at my clinical site. Ultimately, I will be better prepared come graduation.”
The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services projects a 22.6% increase in the need for registered nurses by 2016. Since its inception in 1973, the Kent State East Liverpool Nursing Program has become a pipeline providing qualified healthcare professionals to the East Liverpool City Hospital and 11 other healthcare employers in the surrounding area. In the fall of 2009, the program was able to accommodate more students and double its enrollment. The following year, the program experienced an additional growth of 11 percent. By upgrading the campus’ nursing lab, more than 400 students over the next 5 years will increase their skills and marketability.
Right: Clinical Coordinator Janet Peterson shows off Kent State East Liverpools maternal and neonatal birthing simulator. The equipment, which was purchased for the school's nursing lab through a grant provided by the state, helps students learn about delivery, placenta and post-delivery care.
Left: First year nursing student Ashley Brundage practices positioning a baby in the arms of its mother using the new equipment Kent State East Liverpool was able to purchase through a grant with the state.