“I felt having live people (as opposed to mannequins) really helped bring reality to the situation”
At the beginning of this year, Northern Arizona University (NAU) had begun their use of standardized Patients in simulation scenarios for their nursing students. The use of a standardized patient program stems from the deployment of AvMentor at the university. Taylor Porter, a third-semester nursing student, was able to work as if she was helping an actual patient.
“This also provided an opportunity for psycho-social care, which in my opinion, is one of the most important skills a nurse can have. To provide not only physical needs but emotional needs for a person,” added Porter.
Another NAU nursing student, Sophia Boeshans, commented that, “the actors have done such a great job at creating their characters—making whole lives for their characters which helped us simulate getting to know a real patient and being able to communicate with them.”
She also added that, “The actors have helped me be able to apply more of the emotional and body language aspect of nursing.”
NAU chose to enroll in AvMentor to help implement using live people in their simulations. Together with Avkin, they worked to create a plan that fit the program’s needs. By using AvMentor, it also ensures the university has access to a database of resources to help during every step of the process. This mentorship has helped deliver well-trained, live people to NAU’s simulations, helping their students train in a more realistic setting.
Holly Pumphrey, a student at Northern Arizona University’s School of Nursing, said that one of her patients had a weakened immune system due to undergoing chemotherapy. Having a live patient helped communicate these complications and detailed how certain things could not be present in their room.
“Throughout this whole interaction, I could tell that the patient was disheartened by the fact that her partner couldn’t bring anything from home…This opened up an opportunity for education and discussion on how this made her feel. I learned a lot from this experience because it was a real person in front of me that was feeling and struggling through this process.”
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