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University of Florida nursing research strengthened by Aiken Chair endowment

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Published: Mar. 1, 2022 at 10:02 AM EST
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - Nursing students preparing to graduate from the University of Florida are getting a unique experience in the classroom.

In the Thomas M. and Irene B. Kirbo Innovation and Learning Lab students not only have access to real equipment they’ll be using in hospitals but can imitate cases through mannequin simulations.

Nursing student Natalie Geltman said this offers a perfect transition between learning through textbooks and working in a hospital.

“When we enter the room we can really simulate what it would be like in the actual hospital. These patients can talk to us.”

Professors are on the other side to help guide students through the simulation. They can also manipulate anything from the mannequin’s vital signs to bodily functions like sweating or coughing. The students work to diagnose and care for the patient. Afterward, they can watch it back and learn from their mistakes and successes.

“Being able to fix any mistakes that I made prior to entering a hospital setting is important because these are real people these are real patients and you want to provide high-quality patient care,” said Geltman.

Continuing this type of innovation is one of the reasons the college is now recognized as the Linda Harman Aiken Chair. This 1 million dollar endowement is being invested in research to address challenges nurses are faced with during the pandemic.

“I’m very proud that one of our alumni had done groundbreaking research for the past 30 years on patient safety and how that’s linked to nurses,” said McDaniel. “We’re hoping that by teaching them in a way that’s very true to a clinical setting they will be able to go in and work right from the beginning.”

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The ultimate goal is to increase the number of nurses able to care for patients improving the quality of patient care.

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