SAU Nursing demos simulation lab for high school students

April 8, 2014

SAU Nursing demos sim lab to high schoolers Magnolia High School senior pre-health students recently got to watch a “childbirth” courtesy of Southern Arkansas University’s Wharton Nursing Simulation Lab.

A total of 39 MHS students visited the SAU Department of Nursing during a nursing pre-health mentoring day on March 11, 2014. Students visited the simulation lab where they were shown how SAU’s lab is used to develop nursing students’ critical thinking skills and improve overall patient care.

Since last year, SAU’s Department of Nursing has been working with Magnolia High School to provide potential nursing students with information about nursing careers and give them a view of college life at SAU.

Students also got some hands-on experience with the SAU simulators. Each was given an opportunity to listen to the breath, heart, and bowel sounds, and use other realistic features of the simulators. SAU nursing staff also demonstrated how NOELLE Birthing Simulator births a baby and discussed how such technology is used to give students labor and delivery experiences that they may not get in the real clinical setting.

SAU Nursing demos sim lab to high schoolers “The real life hospital ‘feel’ gives students an element of realism that promotes learning,” said Becky Parnell, interim chair of the SAU Department of Nursing. “While in the lab, students experienced how new High Fidelity Simulator (HFS) ‘SUSIE’ and ‘New Born HAL’ function.”

Also, students were given information about careers in nursing and the nursing degree opportunities at SAU, including the RN and BSN programs. Finally, they were given information regarding the University application and financial aid processes.

At the end of the visit, SAU President’s Ambassadors gave the college-bound students a tour of the campus, followed by lunch at the Mulerider cafeteria.

According to Parnell, the Wharton Simulation Lab utilizes functioning headwalls for oxygen and suction, like are found in hospitals. It also has three fully operational hospital beds, one birthing bed, an infant warmer, bassinet, stretcher, medication cart, crash cart, two laptops for electronic charting at the bedside, a variety of functional IV pumps, and feeding pump. The lab is also equipped with monitors at the bedside to observe the simulated patients like the students would see in a real clinical setting.

To schedule a visit or to find out more information about participating in a nursing-mentoring day at SAU, contact Rhonda Ray at 870-235-4331 or

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