Ivy Tech, Dearborn County Hospital Partner at Simulation Lab to Improve Training

Ivy Tech Community College and Dearborn County Hospital have formed a unique partnership that provides advanced training for nursing students and healthcare professionals in a state-of-the art simulation center at the Ivy Tech Lawrenceburg Riverfront Campus.

The Simulation Center for Medical Education provides nursing students and licensed healthcare professionals, including physicians, nurses, respiratory therapists, and emergency medical technicians, with opportunities to apply knowledge and skills in simulated, non-threatening settings. Professional behaviors, such as team work, organization, prioritization, and communication are integrated into scenarios.

“Simulation provides us with opportunities for critical thinking and clinical judgment, which are essential skills for safe and effective healthcare,” said Diana Conrad, an Ivy Tech nursing student.

The need for well-trained and educated nurses has grown in Indiana as fewer people enter the field, more workers in the healthcare system are nearing retirement age, and the over-70 population in the U.S. increases. Registered nurse tops the Indiana Department of Workforce Development’s 2015 list of the regional Hoosier Hot 50 Jobs. The department says rankings are based on growth and opportunity measures designed to identify the most high-wage, high-demand jobs in the state.

Simulation is a component of all clinical nursing courses at Ivy Tech. Dearborn County Hospital (DCH) utilizes the simulation center for professional development and competency evaluation.

DCH and The Simulation Center for Medical Education provide healthcare professionals with education in Advanced Cardiac Life Support, Neonatal Resuscitation, Pediatric Advanced Life Support and new and continuing education for Emergency Services Personnel throughout southeast Indiana. Future plans for education at the Simulation Center include critical thinking simulation scenarios for new and experienced nurses that develop and enhance problem solving skills for medically complex patients and assist in rescuing patients from further deterioration.

“The Simulation Center for Medical Education provides a venue for the presentation of realistic patient situations that affords healthcare professionals the opportunity to learn and discover in a non- threatening environment,” said Annette Schuerman, simulationist at Dearborn County Hospital.

The unique academic and clinical partnership between Ivy Tech and DCH enables Ivy Tech nursing students to complete traditional and preceptor clinical rotations at DCH each semester. Ivy Tech and DCH also are exploring opportunities for inter-professional collaboration in simulation.

“Because of simulation, there are opportunities to provide care for high-risk, low-volume patients resulting in competence and confidence of healthcare providers,” said Dr. Shelly Eisert, Director of the Simulation Center for Medical Education and an Ivy Tech associate professor of nursing. “Sharing resources, specifically the simulation center, serves as a prime example of an innovative and collaborative approach to facilitate learning for healthcare providers. This helps us achieve our goal of improving patient outcomes in our community.” 

About Ivy Tech Community College

Ivy Tech Community College is the state’s largest public postsecondary institution and the nation’s largest singly accredited statewide community college system.  Ivy Tech has campuses throughout Indiana. It serves as the state’s engine of workforce development, offering affordable degree programs and training that are aligned with the needs of its community along with courses and programs that transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana. It is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association.

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