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Kent State East Liverpool’s Nursing Lab Receives $70,000 in Upgrades

Posted Apr. 23, 2012

State grant makes upgrades possible

enter photo description
Clinical Coordinator Janet Peterson shows
off Kent State East Liverpool's maternal and
neonatal birthing simulator. The equipment,
which was purchased for the school’s nursing
lab through a grant provided by the state, helps
students learn about delivery, placenta and
post-delivery care.

Through a matching grant provided by the Ohio Mid-Eastern Governments Association (OMEGA), Kent State University at East Liverpool was able to make more than $70,000 in equipment upgrades to its nursing laboratory. Half of the funding was provided by the state through the Appalachian Regional Commission. The remaining funds were provided by Kent State East Liverpool.

“We’re very grateful to receive this new equipment,” says Nursing Director Anne Freitas, who oversees the schools’ associate degree program. “The new computerized simulation equipment we purchased will help our students apply their knowledge here in the lab before they go to their clinical sites. Through this grant, our students will learn new skills, improve their problem solving abilities and better apply the principles they’ve learned when caring for patients with various health care concerns and diseases.”

Freitas explains that prior to the upgrades, the laboratory had limited simulation equipment. “The additional equipment will help enhance student learning and the program’s retention rates,” she says.

In addition to purchasing simulation equipment, the program was able to upgrade its medical and surgical audio-visual learning resources.

More than half the grant went toward the purchase of a METIman nursing patient simulator, which is a full body wireless instrumented adult mannequin. Freitas says that the METIman is programmable. She and her staff can use the all-encompassing clinical features to create possible situations the students might encounter on the job. The mannequin comes complete with blinking eyes, reactive pupils, chest excursion, tongue swelling, seven bilateral pulses, cardiac rhythms, defibrillation capabilities, heart, lung and bowel sounds, speech capabilities, convulsion capabilities and pulse oximeter capabilities.

In addition, the program was able to purchase a Noelle maternal and neonatal birthing simulator with a resuscitation baby and a birthing suite package. The maternal and neonatal birthing simulator gives students an opportunity to assess and observe mother and fetus during the birthing process. The birthing suite package provides students with a realistic birthing suite environment, including a birthing bed, baby bassinet and infant scale.

Additional simulation equipment will help students practice wound management and working with vascular access devices such as implanted ports.

Freitas notes that because students will increase their abilities, area employers will reap the benefits of a more highly-skilled workforce.  First-year nursing student Ashley Brundage says that the new equipment will better prepare her to enter the workforce.

“I think it’s great to be able to work on more advanced equipment,” Brundage says. “It helps create real-life scenarios, so I will be prepared when working at my clinical site. Ultimately, I will be better prepared come graduation.”

The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services projects a 22.6 percent increase in the need for registered nurses by 2016. Since its inception in 1973, the Kent State East Liverpool nursing program has become a pipeline providing qualified health care professionals to the East Liverpool City Hospital and 11 other health care employers in the surrounding area. In the fall of 2009, the program was able to accommodate more students and double its enrollment. The following year, the program experienced an additional growth of 11 percent. By upgrading the campus’ nursing lab, more than 400 students over the next five years will increase their skills and marketability.