University Clinical Skills & Simulation Center
Jefferson University Nursing Program
One of the nation's largest and most advanced teaching centers of its kind, the UCSSC helps nursing students gain important clinical experience while increasing clinical confidence. The hands- on instruction and feedback provides a bridge between experiential learning and the didactic classroom instruction the students receive at the Jefferson School of Nursing (JSN).
Nursing students' clinical days at the UCSSC combine traditional classroom lectures, skills labs and standardized clinical simulation to provide hands-on learning in a risk-free environment. Creating a authentic patient care scenario is accomplished using state of the art patient-simulation technology.
Key Points in the School of Nursing Simulation Curriculum Experience
- The JSN's small student-to-clinical-instructor ratio provides a highly individualized teaching style and consistent mentorship as students learn and develop confidence in their clinical skills.
- Each student is assigned to a clinical instructor who assesses his or her clinical skills while at the UCSSC, and then monitors their skill proficiency during patient interactions when the student is assigned to clinical rotations at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital (TJUH).
- Students receive training in the clinical skills necessary to become a successful nurse.Simulation helps students combine their new skills with critical thinking during simulated clinical encounters.
Examples of Undergraduate Nursing Programs
- Before receiving their first assignments at TJUH, first-year nursing students receive 70 hours of instruction at UCSSC's risk-free environment to learn basic clinical skills. Here students are introduced to the basic nursing skills needed to care for a sick patient. For example, they learn a number of nursing actions including how to accurately measure vital signs; provide basic patient comfort measures; make an occupied bed; and develop and maintain a sterile field while performing dressing changes and catheter placements. Jefferson's interprofessional model of education brings together students of nursing and students of the Physical Therapy Department to learn strategies that assure safe patient ambulation with assistive devices, while assuring the security of invasive lines and tubing.
- As the students progress through their program, they face increasingly challenging levels of clinical skill encounters with computerized manikins that can imitate medical symptoms and interact with students. During these clinical encounters, students learn how to give injections, start and maintain an intravenous (IV) drip, and establish a secure airway. A control room camera provides real-time projection of each simulated clinical encounter to an adjacent classroom where it is viewed and discussed by a clinical instructor and students who have either just experienced, or are about to experience, a similar clinical skills encounter.
- The UCSSC uses some of the health care industry's most technologically advanced computerized manikins and simulators to represent a variety of patients and to teach a broad range of clinical assessment and reasoning skills in a risk-free setting. For example, for a student's rotation in pediatrics our clinical skills stations include the use of SimBabyTM; and for a student's rotation in women's health our clinical skills stations use NOELLE®.
Examples of Graduate Nursing Programs
- Standardized-patient encounters take place at the UCSSC's fully equipped exam rooms. The graduate student perform a head-to-toe clinical assessment to a volunteer from the local community who has been specially trained to describe the symptoms of an illness or disease. A faculty observes the encounter from a control room, and provides post-encounter feedback. The standardized patient grades the student on interpersonal skills, clinical skills, and professional demeanor. A video camera records the encounter, and the recording is given to the student for self- assessment, reflection, and help in building his/her clinical reasoning and critical thinking skills.
- Students of the neonatal nurse practitioner program practice collaborative skill-building scenarios using SimBaby. These interprofessional simulated encounters include graduate-level nursing students, medical residents and select hospital staff.
- Students of the nurse anesthetist program (CRNA) practice skill-building scenarios using a spinal cord simulator, endoscopy simulator, and lumbar puncture models. In addition, the CRNAs use an iStanTM interactive manikin, which provides students with a series of challenging simulated clinical experiences, including central line placement , airway management, safe titration of drugs and gas and overall management of the hemodynamic status of the patient throughout the surgical procedure.
John J. Duffy RN, MSN, CCRN,CNRN