Nursing Program @ UCO


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nursing program computer labThe nursing program at the University of Central Oklahoma is taking advantage of the many different types of technology available to faculty and students. Currently, the program is using a combination of technology approaches including a laptop cart from the College of Math and Science, checking out iPads from the Technology Resource Center, a Nursing computer lab and many of the Nursing faculty have been utilizing their own personal iPads as well, participating in the Digital Central Academy.

One of the newer initiatives put into place during the Spring of 2013 was to record skills returns on iPads. Students were able to immediately view their own performance for self-evaluation purposes. The recordings were also very valuable for student/faculty conferences. This initiative was the focus for Dr. Nancy Dentlinger’s presentation during TIGER inservice week on August 14th. Click here to read the abstract.

There are quite a few initiatives occurring in combination with the new hybrid graduate courses that started in January, including using an online chat room to simulate simple “telemedicine”. All courses for the graduate program are hybrid/blended. The blended option provides the advantages of face-to-face interaction and the increased flexibility that comes with an online course. Each class is offered over a 5 week period. This allows the student to devote all of their energy to a single course at a time. The student can also add or remove courses for the semester with greater flexibility then in a 16 week course. During the 5 weeks the students meet live every Wednesday from 5-9:00 p.m. This provides a predictable schedule for their time in the graduate program. The online work is done during the same 5 weeks but is asynchronous, providing for increased flexibility for the student.

nursing lab In the undergraduate program, the faculty integrate online testing for standardized exams and are exploring using it for some regular class exams as well. In addition, the program uses publisher internet based software that help with gaining competence with electronic health records.

During July 2013, the new high fidelity simulation mannequin was installed along with a new audiovisual recording and debriefing system, bringing the total high fidelity simulators up to two adult and two pediatric. These are used along with medium fidelity simulation mannequins in a number of clinical courses to create a virtual learning environment that is safe for students and clients as it allows students to practice before attempting procedures on a patient. Medical mannequins are used in health care training and range from a simple “large doll” to high fidelity mannequins. In the nursing program, low fidelity mannequins are used for CPR.nursing program mannequin A number of medium fidelity mannequins that are anatomically correct, have bowel, heart and lung sounds, allow students to check vital signs (blood pressures, pulses, respirations); check heart rhythms; draw “blood”; start intravenous lines; perform suctioning procedures of the airway, insert tubes into the stomach and bladder; perform CPR and multiple other procedures. We have 5 high fidelity mannequins; 2 adult and 3 pediatric. The high fidelity mannequins have all these features plus have a simulator/instructor interface that allows the mannequin to respond to interactions, procedures, and medications as a real patient would. Instructors can allow students to make mistakes without causing harm to a real person. Students are debriefed immediately after the simulation. This immediate feedback greatly facilitates the process of transforming the student into a registered nurse who can respond to rapidly changing circumstances in a safe manner.

These are just a few of the many technological features used in the nursing transformative learning process. Each new semester brings new ideas and new features to this already digitally conscious group as they strive for a better, more enriching educational experience for their students.

Click here to learn more about UCO’s nursing program.