LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – In the field of nursing, you have to be prepared for anything, and with a 10 thousand square foot simulated hospital, UA Little Rock hopes to make sure its students are prepared.
“It allows them to learn and make mistakes. You’re not hurting anyone. You’re learning from that mistake, and you’ll probably never make that mistake again,” said UA Little Rock director of nursing Sloan Davidson.
Nursing students are put through numerous real-life scenarios that go deeper than just the diagnosis of the patient.
“We also want to make sure that it’s a holistic approach and they are able to take care of the other things,” said Joanna Hall who is the head of nursing simulation.
Students test their skills on mannequins and are also challenged with interacting with a patient’s family as actors come in and play that role.
“It’s like talking and chewing gum at the same time. That’s the kind of stuff that they have to learn. How to communicate and how to do these skills so it becomes a natural thing for them,” said Hall.
Sometimes, instead of a mannequin, students get a real live patient, played by an actor as well.
UA Little Rock strives to be a diverse institution and Hall says the School of nursing mirrors that even in their teaching methods.
Hall says nursing students at UA Little Rock get the diverse population that they’re actually going to care for out in practice. “Transgender simulations, veteran simulations, people of color, we’re trying to interweave all of that.”