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updated: 1/23/2014 7:43 PM

College of DuPage Opens Second Simulation Lab for Health Care Programs

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COD News Bureau

College of DuPage has opened a second health care simulation lab that will optimize cross-disciplinary learning opportunities for students.

The new Simulation Center, located in the Health and Science Center on campus in Glen Ellyn, consists of three components: a home setting consisting of a kitchen, living room and dining area; a long-term care/rehabilitation environment; and a clinic setting.

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The center is located in HSC 2136, down the hall from the Hospital Simulation Lab which opened in 2012. Together the two labs can provide an interdisciplinary approach that better prepares students for today's health care environments. Click here for photos.

"Much of our health care is now taking place outside of the traditional hospital setting," said Vickie Gukenberger, associate dean of Nursing and Health Sciences. "While a majority of nurses are still working at hospitals, our aging population and changes to the health care system have resulted in people seeking care in their homes or at physical rehabilitation centers for conditions that were once treated only at hospitals."

The new Simulation Center is being used by a variety of students, including those in the Nursing, Medical Assistant and Physical Therapist Assistant programs. Gukenberger said a wide variety of simulations can be run. For example, a patient can have an emergency at home, be treated and taken to the hospital, and then be transported to the rehab clinic or back to the home setting for physical therapy.

"Both labs provide different contexts and therefore require students to apply different skills depending on the simulation," she said. "Also, while the Hospital Lab features high-tech mannequins, the Simulation Center relies on more role-playing with students acting as patients, which adds another dimension to their learning."

The Nursing program now has two simulation environments and four labs in which to educate students. Both the Simulation Center and Hospital Simulation Lab mirror clinical settings, so students are better prepared when they reach the clinical portion of their education. In fact, Gukenberger said the labs provide hands-on experience for some situations that they would only be allowed to observe in a clinical setting.

"Adding the new Simulation Center to our facilities allows us to recreate additional health care situations," she said. "By adopting simulation as a method of teaching and learning, we can expand our curriculum to emphasize more of a team approach that crosses a variety of our health disciplines."

For more information about Nursing and Health Sciences, contact the Health Programs Admissions Advisor at (630) 942-2259 or the Health Programs Admissions Specialist at (630) 942-2482 or visit www.cod.edu/programs/nursing.

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