The Polk State College Foundation recently funded technology including laptops and scanners used at area hospitals for the Polk State Nursing Program. This investment enhances the Nursing Program’s simulation experience for students, specifically in the practice of safe medication administration.
Jeff Baldwin, Polk State’s Vice President for Resource Development and Executive Director of the Foundation, visited the Nursing Lab on the Lakeland Campus to see eight of the 16 “WOWs” – or workstations on wheels – created through approximately $10,500 in Foundation funds. The additional stations are benefiting Nursing students on the Winter Haven Campus.
“It is a pleasure to see our funds and our students in action,” Baldwin said. “By spending time with our students in their learning environment, it provides me the opportunity to observe and identify what internal and external partnerships the Foundation can facilitate to continue investing in their education.”
Seniors in Nursing IV demonstrated how students utilize laptops, scanners, and software to practice patient care and the administration of medication.
Professor of Nursing Natalie Ford led the students through the simulation and explained how the new equipment and software create a more efficient process for both instructors and students by allowing students to be more independent in their practice.
“The idea came from the COVID-19 pandemic when we couldn’t be as close to the students,” she explained. “This new setup allows students the ability to learn more independently without the instructor needing to check their math or medication selections – the program does this for them.”
She added that the computer program is affordable and customizable to Polk State’s training needs.
“We have been able to create a type of ‘pick your own adventure’ experience for the students where they need to solve different problems that they would encounter in the clinical setting,” explained Dr. Chasya Wiseman, Professor of Nursing. “We have built in as much clinical support as possible and we can maintain the program at a low cost.”
Dr. Wiseman developed the programming using Excel software that mimics that used in hospitals.
“Students start learning the program before they even get to simulations and then when they get into the program, they begin to build muscle memory that is valuable because they will be doing the same functions and using the same equipment in the hospitals,” Ford explained.
The Nursing IV students who recently demonstrated the equipment and software attested to the technology’s value for their peers. As students close to graduation who are completing clinical hours or who are already employed in a local hospital, they confirmed that this is the tech they are using on the job.
“This is what we are using now in the hospital and it’s great that students will have this exposure earlier on in their education. We wish we had this when we were in Nursing II,” said student Kaley Casper who was accompanied by her peers Shannon Currens and Viorica Doibani.
Dr. Joan Connors, Interim Director of the Polk State Nursing Program, expressed thanks to the Foundation and its donors for providing this opportunity for students.
“Funds from the Foundation have created a more real-life, high-tech setup for our students in the area of safe medication administration simulations and we could not be more grateful,” Dr. Connors said.
Donations can be made to the Polk State College Foundation in support of student scholarships and programs by visiting foundation.polk.edu.