The University of Saskatchewan (U of S) College of Nursing was proud to celebrate the official grand opening of the new Nursing Clinical Skills Lab in Yorkton on Friday. The lab, which is a partnership between the University of Saskatchewan College of Nursing, Sunrise Health Region and Parkland College, is located in the Yorkton Regional Health Centre.
The U of S College of Nursing serves the Yorkton area through a number of initiatives, including continuing education learning events for practicing nurses, distributed Master of Nursing and Nurse Practitioner graduate programs and an accredited Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) undergraduate program delivered at Parkland College.
The new Nursing Clinical Skills Lab provides a consolidated and standardized practice space to host nursing labs in the second and third year of the BSN program. “The investment in this health education infrastructure in Yorkton will not only provide a quality learning experience for our undergrad BSN students, but will also serve as an excellent venue for collaboration among health care educators and providers in the Sunrise Health Region,” said Mark Tomtene, director of operations and strategic planning with the U of S College of Nursing.
The Nursing Clinical Skills Lab has all the resources students and instructors need, including four patient beds, simulation mannequins and various medical devices, giving students the confidence to complete the practical skills they will need during their clinical placements throughout the program. The equipment used in the Yorkton simulation lab is the same as other College of Nursing labs across the province. Other amenities in the lab include a handwashing station, storage space and audio visual equipment to bring rich media learning material into the lab setting.
Adjacent to the lab is a new meeting room for students to use during debriefing sessions, with full video conferencing capabilities available for distributed teaching, research and administrative purposes. Creating an academic learning lab within the hospital allows for the shared use of Seymour, the remote presence communication robot that was introduced in Sunrise Health Region in 2015. “The video conference and remote presence technology in the new lab can connect professionals together from around the world, creating an opportunity to bring additional expertise into the Sunrise Health Region, as well as, share with the rest of the world the talent and leadership in rural health delivery already located in Yorkton”, said Tomtene.
“Sunrise Health Region is very pleased to continue our collaboration with the U of S College of Nursing through the Nursing Clinical Skills Lab at Yorkton Regional Health Centre,” said Roberta Wiwcharuk, Vice President of Integrated Health Services. “The addition of this training space right in our facility further emphasizes our focus as a learning organization, allowing our students and staff members to learn where they live, and enhances our ongoing commitment to training health care professionals now and into the future.”
A clinical skills lab provides students with a safe and controlled learning environment to practice their nursing skills before entering into clinical settings with patients. A broad range of theory courses ranging from anatomy to pediatrics provide students with the knowledge and science they will need to apply in the skills lab. Through the partnership established in 2014 between the U of S and Parkland College, nursing students are able to take all of their theory classes in Yorkton at Parkland College.
“This lab is a wonderful addition to the program, providing our students with new, exciting learning opportunities,” said Dwayne Reeve, President of Parkland College. “It’s an important tool that will help students in the Parkland region to hone their skills and prepare for careers in health care.”
The partnerships between the U of S College of Nursing, Sunrise Health Region and Parkland College are evidence of the commitment to innovation and capacity building that is shared by all three institutions for advancing health education and healthcare in Saskatchewan.
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