York County Community Foundation (YCCF) staff members recently visited York College of Pennsylvania (YCP) to tour the simulation lab of the Dr. Donald E. and Lois J. Myers School of Nursing and Health Professions (MSNHP). The outing was arranged for staff to witness the positive impact of a recent grant to the college’s nursing program from the Memorial Health Fund (MHF).
Grants from the Memorial Health Fund (MHF) are stewarded through YCCF and selected by a separate board comprised of healthcare professionals. Michelle Hovis, Board Chair of MHF says the committee recognized the collective impact of the grant on both education and our local economy.
“We are pleased to know that with this grant, the college was able to purchase four laptops, hire live actors from Theatre Arts for Everyone, invest in simulation gear, and gain access to a scenario cloud which provides over 1,500 downloadable scenarios that are used to program mannequins/patients with certain health conditions,” shared Michelle.
Dr. Rod Grim, Director of Simulation Experiences at the School of Nursing and Health Professions says the school’s vision is to be recognized as a local and regional leader in providing health professions education through accreditation, excellence, innovation, and student-centered teaching. “The MSNHP,” shared Rod, “is an inclusive and engaging learning community that cultivates learning, creates transformative knowledge, and promotes evidence-based practice.”
MSNHP is ranked 15th in the region, an impressive ranking for a small private college. YCP hopes that by providing a dedicated space like the simulation lab, they are better-able to offer quality simulation-based learning experiences for students. The main elements for a successful simulation center are to have a strong infrastructure to support all the technology to run the simulations; the knowledge of simulation pedagogy; and to employ standards of best practice. YCP aims to complete its infrastructure within the next 3-5 years.
“An accredited simulation center will allow York College to offer more robust simulation scenarios to over 300 nursing students, annually,” shared Dr. Stacy Lutter, Assistant Professor & Chair of the Stabler Department of Nursing in the Myers School of Nursing. “Students are able to use equipment similar to a future employer, providing a real-world experience. We proudly graduated 123 nursing students last year and most of them stayed in Pennsylvania,” she continued. Ten of the graduates are now working at UPMC.
The simulation center will be the first one in York County accredited by the Society for Simulation in Healthcare. By offering training opportunities for faculty and students before they enter the workforce and allowing faculty and students to develop new training methods, MSNHP will positively impact healthcare delivery and student readiness for years to come.
“It’s not just the students and faculty who will benefit from this, but the public, too. Being treated by well-trained nurses and experts at their local healthcare facilities, York County residents will gain from the improved education and training scenarios of those enrolled in the MSNHP,” shared Patty Myers, Lab Coordinator at YCP.
During the tour, we watched as students treated “patients” that were pre-programed to exhibit certain health conditions, and then acted quickly to perform CPR in an emergency room setting. Through video monitors and tinted windows, YCP faculty advised students remotely during the simulation exercise.
While visiting the maternity ward, YCCF staff were able to hold a newborn baby, lovingly named “Franky” by the students. During a simulated childbirth, Franky and his mother’s vitals are closely monitored, and when it’s time for delivery, fluids are excreted to give students a real-world educational experience.
“The school also anticipates partnering with UPMC to conduct trainings and Inter-Professional Education classes for our staff,” shared Dr. Grim. The MSNHP believes that York County, as a whole, will benefit by having highly trained professionals that provide world-class healthcare for the community.
YCCF would like to thank the nursing faculty and students at York College for taking the time to show us how grant dollars enrich the lives of the entire community.