JMU Department of Nursing
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JMU Department of Nursing


JMU nursing is a special program the
interaction that our students have with our faculty is exceptional. Through clinical experiences, through
simulation experiences you really form a bond a teamwork that you wouldn’t
really get maybe in other experiences. this program has impacted me
significantly, I’m a different person, because I’ve been here for two years. I
think the intellectual environment the community environment, the level of engagement at JMU as a University and then also how that matriculates down
into the Department of Nursing is what brought me here, it is what makes me want to stay here, its what motivates me to be the best professor
that I can, because I’m in an environment that is so enriching and so
positive that I just want to continue to be here and
to make it better. In nursing the focus is clinical
practice so it is important for our students to
have expertise in clinical practice and in skills. In the skills lab here we have about eight to nine mannequins that are life size and they actually feel like the actual weight of a real patient
you might have. This is really helpful because you do this in your first
semester when your admitted to the program it makes you feel comfortable talking to
patients even though these patients don’t talk back and it makes you feel very comfortable
with moving them. How you could help the patient emulate, how you’re
gonna insert IVs, or make yourself feel more comfortable with
doing skills on a real person. We practice every week and at the very
end of the Skills Lab we have an evaluation where we have
to perform these skills infront of our professor and then we get critiqued and graded on that. I think the best experiences, cumulative, happened in this lab. Our first semester, one of
the first things we need to learn is how to asses a patient, and in this room what
we do is we partner and just like a doctor’s
office almost or a hospital room and we basically go through a full body assessment from head to toe. One of the most important, I think, piece of technology that I was able to my hands on and to become proficient is the
cardiopulmonary patient simulator which allowed me to practice heart
rhythms heart diseases – picking up on those quite readily, so when I step into
practice I won’t be I won’t feel unprepared but I will be able to diagnose or to pick up on on the pathology much faster Our program has over 800 hours
of clinical practice that our students must complete in the bachelors of art program in the master’s and doctoral program
those numbers are about 500 this clinical expertise is really
essential to being a well-prepared nurse prepared to provide care in our changing health care system, so
we’re very fortunate at JMU to have excellent lab facilities. At JMU we use a lot
of stimulations to teach students. It gives them that
hands-on experience before they get into the clinical setting. It gives them kinda opportunity to actually maybe make mistakes that are
not detrimental. There… the bridge between our classroom to actual nursing practice out on clinicals without simulations I would feel like how is posing a danger to our patients. our simulation lab is set up so that
there’s a control room where the faculty are located and their behind a one-way glass and
then they can see into the patient room where
the students are as they’re providing care the faculty is on the other side of the wall making
adjustments via the computer because this is a high-fidelity mannequin that they are using to make changes based on what the
students do as far as their actions. You can hear
breath sounds, I can I can listen to your heart beat, I can look
at their eyes and use a pen light to see the dilation of their pupils. You can hook an IV up to them because
there’s a vein we can access to actually hook up an IV which is very important to know how to do. As the students are
interacting with the patient our faculty have a microphone and they
can stimulate what the patient saying. They
act out how the patient would actually react. Sometimes you’ll get them screaming on
the otherside of the wall and you hear them through the dummy as if you
actually hurting that patient. After simulation we have what’s called
debriefing time. Since our simulations are always
videotaped it’s really useful because they bring that up on the screen we all
seat there we watch it and we critique one another. Debriefing, especially after stimulation is really helpful because it helps you to see what you did during stimulation. It
helps you to learn from that situation. It’s a very important part of the
simulation experience and the reason is you catch things during debriefing
that you didn’t catch while you actually doing it, and those are
probably the times that I learned the most. I truly cannot think of anywhere else I
would have gotten a better nursing education than here at James Madison University. The program is… is tough and that’s the reason why I feel prepared. After being in the nursing
program here at James Madison University I feel extremely prepared to go into
the workforce as a nurse. Being at JMU, in the JMU nursing program has definitely changed me, it’s given me a
new perspective on the needs of the community in general. And ever since starting
clinicals I’ve known that it was the right
decision for me because of the patient care aspect of it and it’s
just been a phenomenal journey so far and I’m really excited to see what happens
when I’m out in the real world.

About Bill McCormick

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