UMass Dartmouth nursing students begin preparing for clinical practice during their sophomore year. Integral to their nursing education are our state-of-the art nursing laboratories where our students learn to become professional nurses in a safe and comfortable environment. Laboratory practice, combined with clinical experiences that begin during their sophomore year, prepare students for real-world patient care in any healthcare setting.
Video tour of UMass Dartmouth Nursing Labs
Take a tour of our state-of-the art nursing laboratories in the video below.
Clinical Therapeutics Skills Lab
Our nursing skills lab sets a realistic stage for learning and clinical practice. The 9-bay laboratory is equipped with task trainers, medium fidelity full-body manikins with the ability to generate heart and lung sounds, and other hospital equipment such as intravenous and enteral feeding pumps. Four functional headwall units provide the ability to simulate oxygen administration, medical air use, and suction.
Students practice nursing interventions such as:
- IV fluid and medication administration
- Oxygenation therapy
- Tracheostomy care
- Ostomy care
- Wound care
- Bed-bathing, transfers
- Urinary catheter insertion
- Nasogastric tube insertion
Realistic supply and medication rooms provide students with additional opportunities to engage in a simulated healthcare environment. Teleconferencing equipment and a large-screen television are available to engage students in multimedia experiences that enhance learning events.
Therapeutic Health Assessment Lab
The Therapeutic Health Assessment Laboratory provides contemporary instructional space that facilitates faculty-to-student and student-to-student engagement. The health assessment lab enables students to develop and enhance their interview and assessment skills, prior to a real patient encounter, using state-of-the-art equipment and technology.
Students practice in one of 10 stations, fully equipped to facilitate an exam as it may be performed in an inpatient or outpatient setting. Diagnostic equipment for taking blood pressure and temperature is used. In addition, students develop skill in using pulse oximeters, dopplers, otoscopes, ophthalmoscopes, and other examination equipment.
During the interview process, students practice data collection and taking patient history to determine their current health status. In addition to vital sign measurement skills, students will also practice inspection, palpation, auscultation, and percussion under faculty supervision.
The lab also includes a therapeutic milieu room for simulated behavioral health care, where a quiet and safe environment helps students learn how to facilitate healing interactions. This space can also provide a private space for students in advanced practice programs to perform simulated patient consults.
Elizabeth Pennington Simulation Laboratory and Debriefing Suite
Simulation is utilized as a teaching strategy that allows students to experience hands-on clinical experiences in a safe and non-threatening environment. Simulation promotes the development of skills such as critical thinking, clinical decision making, teamwork, and communication in a space where mistakes can be made without the risk of patient harm.
In 2019, the Elizabeth Pennington Simulation Laboratory was expanded to include a Debriefing Suite. Composed of four conference-style rooms, these spaces provide comfortable environments in which faculty facilitate student-led discussion and reflection on the simulated patient care activities that take place in the adjacent simulation lab.
A separate space designed as a home setting was also created to enable students to participate in realistic environments that enhance their understanding of patient care in the community.
CNHS also redesigned the interior layout of the Simulation Laboratory, allowing for direct access to the recently renovated Debriefing Suite from the Simulation Lab. The technology in the Simulation Lab, including both the hardware and software components, was refreshed to enhance the student learning experience. A new video debriefing system was installed, improving the ability of faculty to deliver high quality simulation education, track usage and outcomes, and improve patient safety.
Three Nursing Anne Simulators, the first nursing-specific simulator of its kind, were added to the laboratory’s inventory of high-fidelity manikins. The simulators’ unique features support a modern nursing curriculum and expand the range of learning opportunities for students from basic assessment to advanced practice across a wide range of patient conditions.
The Simulation Lab currently houses four individual simulation rooms which accommodate three Nursing Anne Simulators, one new SimBaby, and on SimJr manikin. A separate instructor control room acts as the “command center” for simulation operations, where instructors control the manikins and record and observe simulation experiences.