| Nursing Lab Opens with Blessing |
The opening day for the University of St. Thomas School of Nursing arrived on May 29. The Rev. Mike Buentello, CSB, chaplain and director of Campus Ministry, blessed the School of Nursing and the Nursing Simulation Center at the opening day event. Dean Poldi Tschirch gave congratulatory remarks and Chair of the UST Board of Directors Michele Malloy welcomed the students on behalf of the University.
"It was a special day for the UST School of Nursing," Tschirch said. "It's the first class day for the 28 nursing students of the class of 2014- the first nursing students to study at UST since the previous school closed in 1986."
The lab features eight patient beds and cutting-edge technology like virtual IVs, which use computer-generated animations to teach students how to insert intravenous needles. The lab also has traditional teaching tools such as body-part models and a variety of devices that provide students with practical learning experiences.
The lab, at 4201 Graustark in building 27, is equipped with five fully-functional simulation manikins that mimic human reactions such as blinking, breathing, chest movement with heart and breath sounds, and pulses. The manikins have monitors that display physiological responses to medications and treatments in the form of electrocardiography waves, blood pressure, pulses and oxygen levels. They also have built-in speech phrases and can say things like “My right leg hurts” in different languages.
"The goal of the lab is to create a realistic teaching/learning environment that simulates a standard hospital setting," Assistant Professor Ann Coleman said. "The students will learn to provide safe patient care in this setting before venturing into the clinical areas of various local hospitals to work with patients."
Another highlight of the school’s opening week was the Healthcare and Nursing Education Foundation awards luncheon. Nine UST students were awarded scholarships by this prestigious organization, which provides scholarships to well-qualified students who will make a difference to nursing and have a commitment to Houston. . The UST recipients include Juanita Berdine, Elizabeth Ciocco, Elizabeth Dusek, Laura Gutierrez, Mary Kelian, Laura Love, Nkem Onyeagba, Amalia Torres and Barbara Ward.
The St. Thomas Bachelor of Science in Nursing program is a four-year academic program that incorporates UST's core curriculum, specific pre-nursing courses and courses in the nursing major. The Nursing program focuses on patient-centered nursing using a newly-developed curriculum based on a construct of healing and holistic care.