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Our Story

The Simulation, Teaching and Academic Research Center (STAR) used SimMan® and others to duplicate a “Day in the Life of a Nursing Assistant” for our nursing assistant students prior to and during their clinical rotation at Highland Park Care Center. It was very successful and well received. 

The Challenge

The biggest challenge was helping the students overcome their fears and building their confidence. Everyone has a fear of the unknown, especially nursing assistant students being placed on a nursing floor for the very first time and having the responsibility for the care of real patients.

The Journey

To build the students' confidence and overcome their fears, STAR added “A Day in the Life of a Nursing Assistant” to its curriculum for the first time. STAR replicated the nursing unit on its galaxy wing. From the nurses’ station to the patient rooms, patients’ charts, equipment, call lights going off, the nursing unit came to life. The nurse aide students were expected to take reports, care for their simulated patients, and give reports at the end of the day. In other words they lived the day in the life of a nursing assistant. Precourse surveys were completed by the students prior to the course and a postcourse survey at the end.

The Discovery

The STAR Center has a Laerdal rep who keeps us up to date on all equipment.

The Implementation

We have used the equipment prior to this course. Everything ran smoothly.

The Results

The manikins met all our training goals necessary for our students. The students loved it. Their fear of the unknown diminished and they felt more confident knowing what will be expected of them on the nursing unit caring for real patients. The overall experience was positive and will continue to be a part of the STAR Center’s Nursing Assistant Program curriculum.