The Clinical Skills Lab is a state-of-the-art learning center and serves as a major learning resource environment for the KU School of Nursing. Located on the first floor of the School of Nursing, the center is a multifunctional teaching and learning laboratory that provides an excellent opportunity for independent learning, self and mediated instruction, computer-based instruction and the practice of nursing skills. The center offers opportunities for teaching and learning in the cognitive, psychomotor and affective domains.
Nursing students develop not only psychomotor skills, but participate in a variety of programmed activities and case scenarios that help strengthen critical thinking, decision making, delegation and team work. We in the School of Nursing believe that learning is a life-long process. In the Skills Lab, students engage in active learning experiences that enable them to be self-directed learners. A solid grounding in the underlying scientific principles of technical skills helps students translate learning from the lab to a variety of clinical settings. The lab is equipped with the latest computer technology in the form of both tablets and computers on wheels, allowing students to document care in a simulated electronic record at the point of care.
After recent construction, the learning lab has grown from six individual teaching areas to 11. Included in the Skills Laboratory are a home-health area (occupational students), a birthing bay for our obstetric and midwifery students and a critical care room with a human patient simulator “SimMan.” In the past year we have added a family of new human patient simulators. These include, Hal, (a second adult simulator), Noelle, (the newest birthing model) and an infant, (baby Hal). Because these simulators are completely tetherless, they can travel to the classroom offering opportunities for “live” case studies. In addition to the high fidelity human patient simulator, the lab is home to six moderate fidelity manikins, Vital Anne’s. The Vital Anne’s are computer-based active manikins that allow nursing students to perform basic physical assessment and clinical skills. Attached to the Skills Laboratory are 10 fully equipped examination rooms with video capacity.
The Skills Lab employs approximately 10 graduate teaching assistants per semester under the direction of Mary N. Meyer, RN, MS, Clinical Skills Laboratory Director and Assistant Director, April Roche, MBA, CEPHR. We work closely with the entire School of Nursing faculty to coordinate activities and learning opportunities. With input from the School of Nursing Curriculum Committee, we identify resources appropriate to support and enhance the curriculum and meet specified outcomes for students.