Category Archives: Nursing Learning Center

Sharing EHR with the World

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Photo courtesy of the HPSN World website

By Corbin Smith

One of the greatest opportunities a university faculty member can have is to receive funding that allows them to give a presentation at an academic conference. Yes, you read that right. Paid travel to go give a presentation. That is exactly what happened to two of our faculty members: assistant teaching professor Stacie Hunsaker and simulation operations supervisor Kristen Whipple. Last February, MedAffinity, a company that provides electronic heath records software and is the software used by the BYU College of Nursing, sent both Hunsaker and Whipple to the Human Patient Simulation Network (HPSN) World conference in Orlando, Florida to present on BYU’s success using EHR systems in the classroom.

Since the fall of 2016, the BYU College of Nursing has incorporated EHR software for the nursing students in semesters one through five and for graduate students in year one. As students complete labs and assignments, they input what they did into the EHR system. The labs that the students do can be reset after each lab, so students can have the same opportunity to complete the scenario. The flexibility that MedAffinity’s software provides is what helps BYU’s EHR system be so successful compared to other schools.

Many other universities have been wary about using EHR systems due to the difficulty to make it work properly and efficiently. Due to its persistence and patience, the college has shown that it can be done. “That’s what we were trying to do,” Whipple says of her purpose at the conference, “to tell people that it’s doable…and the things that we did could be done with any program.”

One aspect presented by Hunsaker and Whipple at the conference was an orientation implemented by the college. The orientation done by Whipple to students is “another big thing that changed our experience” she says. While nursing students are in their first semester, Whipple and her team of TAs go in and teach them how to input data and save their progress so each student can hit the ground running from day one. This has gone a long way in helping students effectively operate the software.

Over the last few years, university teaching of nursing has quickly turned to the realm of patient simulation and electronic health records, with the BYU College of Nursing leading the way. Hunsaker and Whipple are adamant that these programs will better prepare future nurses for their careers, and thanks to their work to motivate other universities to employ this new technology, the world of nursing is well on its way.

Upgrading the Nursing Learning Center: The Talent Behind the Technology

By Jessica Tanner

Since 2014, students have benefited from the Mary Jane Rawlinson Geertsen Nursing Learning Center thanks to the Fritz B. Burns Foundation. Students spend weeks practicing isolated skills (such as inserting an IV or taking blood pressure) and then bring their knowledge together to practice a simulated encounter with a patient. Advanced technology makes facilities like the NLC possible. But living in such a high-speed, ever-changing environment reveals an important truth: technology has a short lifespan. Over the summer of 2018, the NLC was given new cameras, microphones, and accompanying software that promotes higher levels of experience and feedback.

“A leading University simulation center in Provo, Utah just underwent a massive upgrade of their healthcare simulation facilities, thanks to Level 3 Healthcare,” writes healthysimulation.com. Level 3 Healthcare implemented SIMStation software to update visual and audio technology as well as some of the manikins. (Two new manikins were added during the upgrade.) These updates “[allow] for the seamless integration between patient exam rooms and simulation training rooms.”

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Photo courtesy of healthysimulation.com

Teachers can now have more control over student experience in the simulation labs. Updates include, “a state-of-the-art facility complete with high-definition PTZ [pan-tilt-zoom] cameras, wireless microphones, full tablet connectivity, [manikin] control, vital sign capture, and voice modulation devices.” Faculty can speak through a microphone that disguises their voice to help students learn patient interaction. “Students learn to speak to a patient, teach them why they are doing what they are doing, and teachers can talk back,” explains NLC supervisor Kristen Whipple.

Though students are given a report of the “previous shift” for the patient and can access patient history through electronic records, teachers can ensure that students encounter the unexpected. The control of manikin response pushes nursing students to think on their feet.

Whipple recalls when a camera was simply draped on its cord over a divider in the lab. Now, student encounters are filmed with the updated video capture and sent to one of four debriefing rooms, where other students can observe. Because of this, students can learn from one another and receive feedback from their professors.

The NLC focuses on providing life-like experience, and to do that the facility needs the latest technology. Thanks to the recent renovations, students can get the experience they need.

Click here to read the original post from Healthy Simulation, and here to see Level 3 Healthcare’s case study of the upgrade.

 

We Will Miss You Colleen!

By Mindy Longhurst

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An image of Colleen Tingey. Photo courtesy of the College of Nursing Media Team.

Colleen Tingey, the Mary Jane Rawlinson Geertsen Nursing Learning Center (NLC) Supervisor, has worked for the College of Nursing for 14 and a half years. Her largest contribution to the College of Nursing has been with the recently renovated NLC. This project was completed and the new NLC facility was opened in Fall 2014.

The new area is a total of nearly 11,000 square feet, expanded 4,000 feet from the original center built in 2001. The NLC has six full-simulation rooms with high-fidelity manikins, four debriefing rooms, five exam rooms, a nine-bed skill lab, a four-bed walk-in lab, and two procedure training areas. Each area is flexible and can be reconfigured in a variety of ways according to class needs.

Tingey was able to participate in almost all the different stages of the renovation of the NLC. She was able to help with preparation before the renovation took place, she was able to help with the blueprints and with the architects. Tingey had a hand in focusing on every detail in the NLC from the sinks to the storage space.

In the past ten years, the number of student encounters in the NLC has doubled. Student encounters are essentially any learning experience that the students have had at the NLC including labs, walk-in labs and classes that take place in the NLC.

In Fall 2016, Electronic Health Records (E.H.R.) were implemented into the NLC. This has helped the students tremendously to learn how to use the E.H.R. system at BYU before using a similar E.H.R. system during their clinical rotations at hospitals. This system has helped the students to perform better and be more comfortable during clinical.

Tingey says, “It is very hard to leave BYU.” She has loved being able to work at BYU and for the College of Nursing. After retirement, Tingey wants to focus on increasing her skills in quilting, sewing, yard work and canning. But, most importantly, Tingey looks forward to spending more time with her five children and nine grandchildren.

Here’s to a Great Retirement!

By Mindy Longhurst

Ken Robinson Headshot

A photo of Ken Robinson. Image courtesy of BYU Photo.

Ken Robinson, the IT Manager for the College of Nursing, has been a great help to the College of Nursing. Robinson was trained in electronics while he was in the Air Force in his youth. Later, he received his degree in Computer Science from Weber State University.

Robinson started working for the College of Nursing around the time that his daughter started attending BYU. Robinson has been working as the IT Manager for the College of Nursing for the past 20 years! Since his time here, a lot has changed in the technology world. When he first arrived, many faculty and staff members were not accustomed to working regularly with computers and the latest technology of the day, floppy disks. Now, 20 years later, he has loved helping faculty and staff members become more familiar with using technology.

smilingA photo of Robinson fixing a computer. Image courtesy of Zak Gowans.

There have been several changes to technology since Robinson started working here. The biggest change has been within the last four years, as the newly constructed Nurses Learning Center (NLC) has been updated and become more of a technology center. Of this change Robinson says, “Prior to the newly constructed NLC, we had a little bit, but not as much technology as we have in there today. They started talking about getting electronic health records (E.H.R.) when I started working here, but we did not get it until the remodel four years ago. After the remodel, we had a special room for the equipment that was running the NLC. I switched and spent most of my time in the NLC.” Along with E.H.R., there are significantly more manikins and simulation labs that feel real to the students. Robinson’s legacy over his long stay at the College of Nursing is helping faculty and staff members be more comfortable with using technology.

handsRobinson working on a computer. Image courtesy of Zak Gowans.

Robinson plans on spending time with his 7 children and 21 grandchildren after retirement. He has built a shop in his backyard so that he can teach his grandchildren. He plans on teaching his grandchildren important skills like electronics, computers, model rockets and wood work. He also looks forward to spending more time with his wife and helping his children.

 

 

Taking Wing to New Heights

By Calvin Petersen

From extreme sports to nursing and humanitarian work, Debra Wing isn’t afraid of trying new things. Now after teaching at BYU’s College of Nursing for 11 years, Wing will again embrace something new: retirement. And considering her life so far, Wing’s retirement will be far from dull.

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Debra Wing (left) and her husband Kelly (second from right) with their three children. Wing says her children and three grandchildren are “the joys of my life.”

Nursing Runs in the Family

Growing up, Wing watched her two older sisters attend nursing school and work at hospitals. As they shared inspiring experiences, Wing thought she would love nursing too.

“I started my freshman year at BYU taking all the nursing prereqs and working in a hospital,” she remembers, “and I kept thinking, ‘I hate this.’”

Wing decided to study business instead at a neighboring college. But before she left BYU, she married Kelly Wing, a military man who had just returned from serving an LDS mission. “We met in a BYU family home evening,” she recalls with a chuckle. After graduating with a business degree, Wing spent the next 10 years as a businesswoman.

“Yet, I always felt something was missing,” she says, “so, with very small children, I went back to nursing school and finished my bachelor’s.”

This was made possible by an opportunity with the military. It needed nurses and was willing to help pay for Wing’s college; Wing needed a job and financial aid. With the added incentive that her husband was already in the Air Force, she joined. “I found out I loved the military,” Wing says, “so I just stayed in.”

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Wing with her sister and nursing professor, Deanna Williams, on graduation day.

Nursing on the Front Lines

One of the things Wing enjoyed most about her military nursing career was doing clinical oversight for EMEDS training. In this role, she instructed hundreds of National Guard and Army Reserve medical personnel on how to provide support in war zones. She also worked with Homeland Security to train national disaster relief organizations on how to respond to every kind of disaster—from hurricanes to hostage situations.

“Something I really loved about my career is that nursing continually reinvents itself,” Wing says, “what we thought we knew about nursing yesterday isn’t what we’re going to know about nursing tomorrow.”

Wing herself was “reinvented” dozens of times during her career as she took on new nursing roles. Perhaps her favorite “reinvention” was becoming a mission nurse for the LDS Korea Seoul Mission in 2015. According to Wing, her mission wasn’t the quietest in the world.

“We were right up by the DMZ, 17 miles from the northern border,” she says, “there were missile exchanges and gunfire right in our backyard.”

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Wing’s husband swearing her in as a United States Air Force officer.

In it for the Thrill

Outside of her nursing career, Wing is an extreme sports enthusiast. “I love anything that’s a little bit dangerous,” she says.

Before she met her husband, Wing’s boyfriend in high school and college was a racecar driver. “Our dates consisted of racing,” she remembers, smiling mischievously. Now one of her favorite things to do is drive cars at 150+ mph. However, since the Autobahn hasn’t come to Utah, she makes do with crawling over Southern Utah rocks in her Subaru Outback.

On top of racing cars, Wing is an extreme skier. In fact, she used to race the downhill and super-G professionally. With her approaching retirement, Wing plans to finally take up the extreme sport she’s always wanted to: skydiving.

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Wing (second from left) and colleague Gaye Ray (second from right) hold up a sign for the anniversary of the BYU College of Nursing, established in 1952. The two professors traveled with students, including Erin Marshall (left) and Mike McNeil (right), to Pamplona, Spain, for the International Family Nursing Conference in 2017.

Onward and Upward

Wing’s other plans for retirement include working with several organizations to teach medical education in developing countries. “I’ll be leaving the University, but I’m not leaving nursing,” she says.

Wing has worked with Healing Hands for Haiti and IVUMED in past humanitarian efforts and intends to resume those efforts. “I’m excited to be able to go back and do that,” she says. Furthermore, Wing will continue to volunteer regularly at Provo Food and Care Coalition. She and her husband also want to serve another LDS mission.

Reflecting on her experience as a nurse, she says, “What made my nursing career worthwhile was the opportunity I had to serve people every day. I love that experience of giving of myself. There’s a reward that comes from caring that’s far greater than monetary rewards.”

If she could give her younger self any piece of advice, Wing says it would be to enjoy the journey more. “Don’t spend so much time worrying about what has to get done,” she advised, “I think we can become too serious about the task and forget how joyful the journey can be.”

Wing is proud of her accomplishments at the College of Nursing. In addition to working tirelessly to make the NLC expansion a possibility, Wing has mentored numerous students. “I’m very grateful for the students and I’m very grateful for my colleagues,” Wing says, “Working in the College of Nursing has been a beautiful experience because of them.”

Exciting New NLC Tech Transforms Student Learning Experience

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Assistant Lab Supervisor Kristen Whipple watches as students learn how to operate the new Pyxis MedStation

By Jonathan Schroeder

One of BYU’s top learning facilities got some exciting new upgrades this summer. Among the more exciting improvements, the Mary Jane Rawlinson Geertsen Nursing Learning Center (NLC) now boasts eighteen new hospital beds, two new state-of-the-art classroom manikins, and two new Pyxis MedStation 4000 systems.

“In the NLC, our goal is to simulate real-life nursing scenarios for our students, so they are better prepared when they enter a hospital for first time,” said NLC supervisor Colleen Tingey. “The Pyxis MedStations are what students are most likely to see in Utah area hospitals.”

“Pyxis is actually a real, clinical machine that we use as a teaching tool,” Assistant Lab Supervisor Kristen Whipple added. “But the same Pyxis machine we use here could be used in any hospital.”

Acquired through a donation by the Fritz B. Burns Foundation, the Pyxis MedStation 4000 is a computerized medical dispenser that is quickly becoming a standard piece of equipment for nurses across the country. The Pyxis MedStation is programmed with a patient database to help nurses keep track of all of their patient’s specific medical needs.

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“The whole idea behind the machines is to improve patient safety,” Tingey explained. “Because the patient’s record is already programmed into the machine, it can then dispense the right medication for that patient and help the nurse avoid medical errors.”

Prior to this summer, the NLC had just one older version of Pyxis to use for all nursing simulations, which often ran simultaneously. Nervous nursing students would often waste valuable time waiting to get meds for their simulation because of backlog at the older machine.

“We’re really excited to have two Pyxis machines, instead of just one,” Whipple said. “Now it’s easier for students to access them during their simulations.”

Thanks to the Fritz B. Burns Foundation, NLC also welcomed two new additions to the College of Nursing manikin family. The new arrivals (one adult and one child) are auscultation manikins that help students learn to identify heart, lung, and bowel noises.

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Nursing student Aimee Schouten with the new pediatric auscultation manikin.

Students can use a stethoscope to listen to the manikin’s heart rate and breathing. Computer programs allow the professor to control what sounds the student hears, as well as the area on the manikin that the sound comes from. The professor can also program the manikin to emit different types of sounds or project the sound through a speaker, so the whole class can hear.

“When students practice on each other, they get to hear normal sounds,” Tingey explained. They get to hear what normal, healthy patients sound like. But they don’t get the opportunity to hear abnormal heart sounds. These manikins provide an opportunity for students to hear what an abnormal heart sounds like.”

Nursing faculty are especially excited about the new pediatric auscultation manikin. Whipple said that nursing faculty had specifically asked for this device to better teach pediatrics to nursing students. “Small children don’t just behave like small adults,” Whipple pointed out. “Their bodies are different than adult bodies; so we need to train in what’s specific to them. This pediatric simulator acts like a pediatric body would and helps us identify those sounds that are unique to children.”

The new adult auscultation manikin has several unique features that are useful to professors and nursing students. Professors can use the adult manikin’s computer program to display EKGs, phonograms, and ultra-sounds. This allows students to see the physiology behind any abnormal sounds they may hear.

“Basically, this manikin allows our students to not only identify abnormalities like heart tremors,” Tingey said. “But it also allows students to learn how the sound correlates to what’s happening in the heart.”

 

 

 

An Arabic Major’s Humorous Experience Learning How to Administer an IV

Watch the video version of this at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vJYqP5tS_uA.

“Be sure to inform the patient of the prick…”

I vaguely registered these words as I stared at the computer monitor. The presentation seemed to be dragging itself out a little, and my concentration was slipping.

“Be sure to properly dispose any blood-splattered material…”

My eyes shot open. Run that by me again? Blood-splattered material? Was I practicing to be a nurse or a butcher?

The flurry of medical terms that began erupting from the headphones about cannulation and catheters confirmed that indeed, this was IV placement training, and augmented how out of place I felt in the Mary Jane Rawlins Geertsen Nursing Learning Center.

My name is Steven Tibbitts, and I am a public relations assistant in the BYU College of Nursing. I am also a Middle East Studies/Arabic major. This means that when nursing faculty and students start talking about dyspnea and dilation, I’m usually grabbing a dictionary.

Given my non-medical background, it was decided that I would go through some of the same computer/machine training for IV placement that nursing students complete in order to write a story on the difficulty level.

Summary to the non-initiated—it’s hard. Lazy readers can stop here.

NLC Assistant Supervisor Kristen Whipple guided me through the process, giving me the same instructions she gives to normal students. The whole system is composed of a computer program and a small machine to which you administer the IV. For a nursing student to pass, they have to earn a 73% on the procedure.

I first had to watch several training videos. They made me feel good by reminding me how much easier Arabic is to understand than medical terminology.

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“What does this all mean?”

Following that, an image flashed on the screen about a patient to whom I would administer an IV, complete with a backstory about the accident that put her in the hospital. I could not help but think that the accident might not wind up being the worst part of her day by the time we were done.

It was time to get down to business. I selected the mid-arm as the injection point, and then scrambled to figure out what supplies I would require, my lack of understanding evident in the questions I asked myself aloud. How many needles? Which kind? Wait, IV needles come in gauges? (Nursing students, try not to mock me too much here.)

The program then had me prepare to administer the IV, first by informing the patient of the impending procedure, and then putting on rubber gloves with a satisfying snap. It then instructed me to test the viability of my selected injection site. This was accomplished by touching the part of the machine that mimicked human skin and feeling the pulse that it generated.

Easy, I thought, just like surgery class in first grade when Miss Conn taught us how to identify strong blood flow by palpating the patient’s veins…wait…

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“Here goes nothing…oh wait, there’s blood!”

With a site selected, I washed it on the computer and then realized that it was actually time to use the pointy thing. I apologized profusely to the imaginary patient, picked up the needle, and gingerly began to maneuver it into the hole on the machine that represented the insertion point. I watched my progress on the screen, realizing that most likely a real patient would be filling out lawsuit papers by now with the arm that I had not maimed.  However, after some fiddling, I did manage to place the catheter.

About that point, I remembered that I needed to warn the patient that I was going to place the IV, so they received a heads up a solid two minutes after the fact.

As you might guess, my initial score was not superb.  The report had many tips that Whipple helped me understand, like not moving the needle back and forth in the vein (be grateful that I will never be a nurse) and warning the patient before I poke them.

I practiced several times, achieved a 92 on the third, and then called it quits when my scores began precipitously plummeting to the 60s. In fact, I never managed to completely the procedure successfully by the program’s standards. One of the times even resulted in the patient bleeding profusely (this attempt is highlighted in the above video).

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“I need to flee the country before they sue!”

While I was contemplating my failure, Whipple explained to me the same thing that she does to Type A nursing students who get only a 73.

Obviously, the computer program is not a real patient. It is like a nursing video game whose purpose is to initiate students into IV training. This training is coupled with practicing on manikin arms and other materials, so the skill is finely honed during first semester, despite what people’s initial results may be with the machine. It is all about practice.

The experience showed me that a) I’m happy to stick with العربي and b) nursing students are very well trained and capable. Their program is rigorous and ensures that students are able to provide care in an effective way, all with the Spirit. The BYU College of Nursing holds its students to a high standard, which translates into better patient care and safer medical practices.

In summary, if you’re in a hospital and you find a BYU College of Nursing graduate administering your IV, rest easy, you’re in good hands.

If it’s me, run for the hills.