Sinclair gets $2M to expand health care labs, add specialized equipment

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“Our students have the kind of experience and education necessary to participate right off the bat in the important and very vital healthcare that we have in this region,” said Steve Johnson, president of Sinclair.

Nursing students Thay Ruiz and Josiah English both said the simulators Sinclair have helped them practice important skills they know they’ll need in their careers.

On Tuesday, English said his class was working on CPR training on a simulator. The simulator has a pulse and can show drowsiness, so the students can see how someone would react.

“When we do compressions, we actually see how effective they are on the monitor,” English said. “Which I think is really helpful clinically to see how well we’re doing before we actually need to do it somewhere.”

Ruiz agreed, adding that the theories the class discussed can be put into practice on the simulator mannequins.’

Sinclair’s mannequins include simulators for labor and delivery, newborns, pediatrics and adults, said Anne Volkmer, simulator lab director at Sinclair and a member of the nursing faculty.

Volkmer said the simulators give her students real-world examples before they ever set foot in a hospital, which helps keep patients safe. It can also expose students to an uncommon medical situation, she said.

She said if students made a mistake while they’re in class, the teacher could stop the simulator and explain the mistake. In real life, a mistake on a patient could have serious impacts on that person’s life.

“All of our health sciences students have some simulation experience, because we want them to make a mistake in simulation before they make a mistake with a person,” Volkmer said.

The hands-on experience also helps students get their nursing licenses. Rena Sebor, health sciences dean, said the fall 2023 cohort at Sinclair had a 100% pass rate on the nursing exam.

According to the National Council of State Boards of Nursing which administers the NCLEX-RN, a common nursing board certification exam, in 2023, about 88% of associate degree holders passed, while about 90% of bachelor’s degree graduates passed.

Congressman Mike Turner, who helped secure the federal funding for Sinclair, said the work between the community and Sinclair means students get a top-notch education.

“It’s not just what happens in the classroom, it’s integration between the community and the class,” he said.


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