Simulation lab training nurses and CNA’s at Lee Health

Reporter: Samantha Johns Writer: Paul Dolan

Lee Health has opened a new lab for nurses and certified nursing assistants (CNA) to grow their skills in a highly realistic simulation lab.

The new, innovative training experience includes a fully-equipped ICU and medical-surgical rooms.

A coughing patient typically can only be heard once a nurse is already on the floor.

But at Lee Health, the new simulation lab at Gulf Coast Medical Center gives CNA’s the full sights and sounds of a typical day in the nursing profession.

“You actually feel like you are in an ICU room or a med surgical room at Gulf Coast and in doing so you don’t think about oh, well, this isn’t realistic and that’s not how it is on the floor. Instead, you’re thinking about the objectives at hand and what you need to do to keep the patients safe,” Traci Grove, a simulation education coordinator at Lee Health said.

Nurses and CNA’s train in simulation lab at Lee Health. CREDIT: WINK News

Instructors are controlling oxygen levels from different rooms while they observe students simultaneously.

WINK News spoke with Susan Davis, a resuscitation education program manager at Lee Health about the program.

“You watch them come in there. They’re very frightened and fearful of the equipment,” Davis said. “They’re unsure of their skills, We do these brief, repetitive skills they might do 2,3,4 rounds a piece.”

The simulation lab gives those who use it the full experience of what it takes to save a life.

“It’s amazing when we are in the unit with staff at the bedside, doing the drills. We do a quick five debrief and we try to get better at that the good, the bad, the ugly,” Davis said.

They do all of that before going into a different room to discuss as a class how to improve.

Discussing what they’re doing in a group provides positive reinforcement for students and builds confidence.

“Studies show that these experiences help with competence and competence. But at the same time again, after having worked in this side of healthcare for over 10 years, I just feel like we’re still at the beginning, and especially here at Lee health, it’s just it’s gonna get better and better,” Grove said.

It’s all done for the good of patient safety.

The new simulation lab is part of a larger strategy for training purposes the entire Lee Health system will continue to adopt moving forward.

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