The eventful atmosphere of a hospital is replicated in the skills lab on the second floor of Aldevron Tower. The lab helps students in NDSU’s School of Nursing practice the critical care they’ll provide on future patients in a real-world setting.
The skills lab is designed to look like a hospital floor. Patient beds separated by curtains line the walls. Each station is equipped with simulated oxygen, suction valves and blood pressure monitors.
Students in the lab learn a range of techniques they will need while working in patient care, like sterile procedure, placing catheters and inserting intravenous lines. Manikins that represent patients add to the experience.
“In skills lab, we're learning anything we might be asked to do on the floor,” said Kaylie Kirchenwitz, a junior nursing student from Perham, Minnesota. “We actually get that hands-on experience.”
The realistic atmosphere of the center prepares nursing students to successfully enter the profession. Students become comfortable in the environment, while learning skills and working with teams of people with different backgrounds and nursing styles.
“The skills lab is exactly like a hospital,” Kirchenwitz said. “The expectation is high. Professors don’t tell you there would be a curtain over there. There is a curtain in place you need to pull. They don’t tell you that you would wash your hands in a certain situation. There is hand sanitizer available in the room.”
The skills lab allows students to put their learning from lectures and textbooks into practice. Kirchenwitz says the hands-on experience makes it easier to learn.
“We have that space to make mistakes and to learn from them, while supervisors are there helping us learn,” she said. “The professors want you to succeed. They want to see you become a BSN or ICU nurse or whatever specialty you want to go in. The nursing program prepares you for everything.”
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For more on Kaylie’s NDSU experience, visit our official YouTube channel.