About the Simulation Program
The UofSC Aiken school of nursing has a state of the art simulation program to complement and enhance classroom learning and clinical experience. The four labs include skills, health assessment, and two high fidelity labs. Students start hands on learning in their first semester of nursing. In the skills lab they practice nursing skills with manikins and task trainers. Many skills are taught even before students begin to interact with real patients. Also in the first semester of nursing courses, students participate in health assessment lab where they learn the skills needed to adequately assess patients with a wide variety of conditions.
Beginning in the second semester of nursing courses, students attend high fidelity simulation as a portion of their clinical experience. In the Abshire lab, they care for adult medical surgical patients and in the Inder lab they care for pediatric and obstetrical patients. In high fidelity simulation the emphasis is on clinical judgment and decision making. Students are afforded the opportunity to make critical decisions and perform patient care, then see the consequences of their actions.
In their final semester of nursing, students attend labs where they practice advanced life support skills then care for a patient in an arrest scenario. Final semester students also attend both high fidelity and skills labs as peer teachers for lower level students. This experience affords final semester seniors the opportunity to practice teaching skills as they prepare to transition to practice
The Skills Lab
The skills lab is utilized primarily for beginning nursing students to learn and practice basic nursing care. Skills include bedmaking, hygiene, feeding, positioning and transferring a patient, assessing vital signs, and more. Sterile technique is learned through procedures such as urinary catheter insertion and tracheostomy care. Students provide hands-on nursing care for the manikins while working through patient care scenarios. The lab is also used as a conference room by other student groups and for courses such as CPR instruction.