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UF Nursing School continues education through simulation courses

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Published: Dec. 22, 2020 at 9:21 PM EST
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - The need for nurses and medical staff have been at an all-time high as the pandemic continues.

Leaders at UF Nursing School are teaming up with a local company and global program to deliver virtual nursing education to UF students.

Gainesville-based software company Shadow Health has joined forces with Elsevier-- a globally used analytics company-- to bring virtual simulation in nursing education, to the next level. Despite the recent rise in the technology’s use, Gannon said they have been using simulation-based learning for years.

“Simulation has been around for decades if not centuries ... there was actually a French midwife who developed a model through which she could model birth of a baby.”

That technology has evolved to cutting-edge simulations that challenge students to apply their clinical reasoning skills through life-like interactions.

“They enter the patient’s room, they wash their hands do ... some hygiene and safety things ... then they start their conversation, you know they say ‘good morning, my name is’ and then the patient will respond to them,” said UF Assistant Dean of Simulation Based Learning, Jane Gannon.

The simulation program is form of learning that allowed nursing students continue their medical journey even when the pandemic hit.

“Simulation became that much more important because we had to actually design virtual clinical experiences for our students,” said Gannon.

Gannon said the technology has been crucial to helping students avoid one of the medical industries biggest downfalls.

“Communication gaps are a significant contributor to medical errors ---you need to make sure you cover all the bases ... so this helps them organize in their mind what the important information is.”

What many saw as a roadblock in education with the pandemic, others saw as an opportunity.

“It just shows the flexibility of the simulation ... with a little creativity and skill on the part of faculty members-- they have taken these products and just flown with them ... in terms of enhancing students learning so.”

From physical assessments to documentation -- technology has taken on its biggest role in helping to train the world’s next generation of life savers.

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