‘An important step’

The Society for Simulation in Healthcare granted provisional accreditation to the East Carolina University College of Nursing’s simulation program, making ECU the only public university in the state with either a provisionally- or fully-accredited simulation program.

Nursing students participate in a wound simulation in one of the College of Nursing’s simulation labs.

Nursing students participate in a wound simulation in one of the College of Nursing’s simulation labs. (Photos by Cliff Hollis)

To receive provisional accreditation, the college’s Concepts Integration Laboratories had to show compliance with core standards and teaching/education standards set by the Society for Simulation in Healthcare (SSH). Among the information required as part of the accreditation process, the college provided documentation of standard operating procedures, the management of labs, the expertise of faculty and staff and the simulation educational opportunities it offers.

“Our simulation labs are an incredible asset to the college and our students,” said Dr. Sylvia Brown, dean of the College of Nursing. “They allow us to provide students with realistic experiences they’ll face throughout their career as a nurse in a safe environment. This gives them a significant advantage in learning to provide top-tier patient care.

“Provisional accreditation is a testament to our faculty and staff’s dedication to giving our students the best opportunities to succeed, and serves as an important step toward full accreditation for our simulation program.”

Observation rooms separated from simulation labs with two-way mirrors allow faculty to manage and record simulations for later assessment with students.

Observation rooms separated from simulation labs with two-way mirrors allow faculty to manage and record simulations for later assessment with students.

Melinda Walker, a nurse supervisor and assistant director of the Concepts Integration Labs, accepted the college’s certificate at the SSH’s annual meeting in January.

“Receiving provisional accreditation is a big step for our labs and it shows that we are committed to providing excellence in the areas of simulation and nursing to our students and our community,” Walker said. “I’m excited for the direction we are going and the steps we are taking to make our simulation labs better.”

The provisional accreditation lasts for two years, during which time the college will prepare for full accreditation, expected in late 2020.

According to the SSH, there are only two fully accredited simulation programs in the state —Carolinas Simulation Center in Charlotte, and Duke University School of Nursing’s Center for Nursing Discovery in Durham. The Womack Medical Simulation Program at Fort Bragg is the only other provisionally accredited simulation program in North Carolina.

The college’s simulation labs feature more than 55 simulation manikins that test a variety of skills.BY THE NUMBERS

• 7,700 square feet of advanced simulation lab space on the second, third and fourth floors of the College of Nursing.

• 158 simulations run during the 2017-2018 school year.

• 55+ simulation manikins that test a variety of skills and are diverse in age, race and gender.

• 8 simulation labs equipped with state-of-the-art medical and simulation tools, including compressed air to allow simulation of medical air, oxygen and suction, stand-up computer stations, and computers that operate video and sound recording and playback for debriefing in each lab space.

• 2-way mirrors divide labs and observation rooms that allow faculty and students to observe the simulation without distracting those taking part.

 

-by Natalie Sayewich, University Communications