The Clinical Learning Lab, located on the first floor of the School of Nursing, is a state-of-the-art learning center designed to develop individual and team-based competencies to deliver excellent patient care.
The lab is equipped with the latest technology, such as desktop computers, iPads, tablets and computers on wheels, allowing students to interact with a simulated academic electronic health record (AEHR) at the point of care. The main laboratory space can be configured for both psychomotor skills practice and high fidelity simulations. Students practice technical skills within a deliberate practice framework in the context of specific clinical practice environments. This fosters learning transfer from the lab to a variety of clinical settings.
The lab features 10 acute care beds; a computer lab; a simulated home area; a birthing bay featuring "Noelle," a high fidelity birthing manikin; and a critical care room with a human patient simulator "SimMan 3G". The lab houses four additional high-fidelity simulators (two adult, one child and one infant), that are tetherless, so they can travel to a classroom for "live" case studies or to patient care settings for in-situ team training.
The lab is also home to five moderate fidelity manikins, Nursing Anne's. The Nursing Anne's are computer-based active manikins, controlled with touchscreen devices for basic physical assessment and clinical skills. Attached to the Skills Laboratory are nine fully equipped examination rooms with video capacity.
Nursing students participate in a variety of lab-based curricular activities intended to strengthen critical thinking, decision making, delegation and teamwork skills. In the early undergraduate Nursing curriculum, students learn the necessary physical assessment and psychomotor skills through a video enhanced deliberate practice model that promotes active and self-directed learning. After demonstrating basic competencies, students are prepared to begin clinical courses where they work alongside faculty and registered nurses to care for patients.
The School of Nursing faculty realized that while clinical learning in hospital or community settings is invaluable, it is also somewhat unpredictable. Faculty believe there are some situations that each student should experience during their coursework, but the opportunities may not present themselves during the times that students are in the clinical learning setting. Faculty identified these key experiences and integrated them into the curriculum through simulations. During each clinical course, students also participate in lab sessions that offer opportunities to practice advanced nursing skills and participate in simulations. Many of these simulations involve other health professions students on campus.
Graduate nursing students participate in several types of lab-based curricular activities. Midwifery students experience several simulations with Noelle, our high-fidelity birthing manikin. The simulations include a normal labor and delivery and complicated deliveries. Students in the Advanced Health Assessment course come to campus four times during the semester to participate in classroom activities, skills demonstrations, to practice advanced physical assessment skills using simulated examination rooms and state of the art equipment. All students seeking an advanced degree in a clinical track can expect to come to the lab.
Nursing students are the primary lab users, but other professions on campus use our facilities, including School of Medicine and School of Health Professions students. The University of Kansas Hospital uses the space and borrows manikins for simulated team training events.
The leadership and staff of the Clinical Learning Lab welcome the opportunity to promote simulation-based learning across campus. Anyone interested in incorporating simulation into their teaching strategies should contact Mary N. Meyer, RN, ARNP, Clinical Learning Lab Director or April Roche, MBA, Clinical Learning Lab Assistant Director.
The Skills Lab employs about 10 graduate teaching assistants per semester. The graduate teaching assistants work closely with faculty to provide excellent simulated learning environments. All lab staff work closely with the entire School of Nursing faculty to coordinate lab activities that have been strategically planned within each curricula. With input from the School of Nursing Curriculum Committee, the Lab staff identify resources appropriate to support and enhance the curriculum and meet specified outcomes for students.