GW Nursing Magazine Fall 2019


GW Nursing is a publication of the George Washington University School of Nursing. The magazine tells the story of GW nurses and their endeavors in the areas of education, research, policy and practice.

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The school has expanded its simulation

footprint three times in as many years, and

this summer renovated about 8,500 square

feet in the Simulation Learning

and Innovation Center labs primarily used

by baccalaureate students.

The renovation, designed by Crystel

Farina, director of simulation and experiential

learning and supervised by Director

of Operations Joe Velez, added B-Line

SimCapture to 11 revamped bed stations,

two beds in a semi-private room, an operating

room and two private rooms. Sound

dampening between beds and the addition of

several debriefing rooms will allow for more

effective simulation exercises. Upgraded

control rooms also support simulation

activities throughout the center.

During this renovation, the school

also added a room dedicated to supporting

virtual reality.

Meet the Growing Simulation Team

by erin julius

Janice Oullette compares her

role at GW Nursing to that of a

Christmas elf. As a simulation

operation associate, she works

behind the scenes, setting up labs

and other interactive learning

experiences for students.

“It’s like the elves,” said Ms. Oullette.

“The kids go to bed at night and the next

morning, everything is done. That’s what sim

techs do. You’ll see Med-Surg 1 all set up and

then — poof — the next day it’s Med-Surg 2.”

As GW Nursing’s student population

has grown, the Simulation Learning and

Innovation Center has added staff to keep

up with demands of Bachelor of Science in

Nursing labs, Objective Simulated Clinical

Experiences for graduate students and other

simulated events hosted for outside groups.

Crystel Farina, M.S.N., RN, the school’s

director of simulation and experiential

learning, leads a staff that’s grown from one

to four over the past couple of years. Ms.

Oullette, Cyndi Kelley and Rebecca Melson,

all simulation operation associates, work

with Paul Collins, who “ties it all together

electronically” as the simulation technology

administrator, Ms. Farina said.

Ms. Oullette and Ms. Kelley both

transferred to their positions

after initially starting at GW Nursing

in more administrative roles.

“I Iove that I don’t sit at a desk,”

said Ms. Kelley. “I would have been fine

staying as a community coordinator but

wanted something new for myself.” As a

bonus, she now has greater insight into her

daughter’s nursing school experience and

simulation education at Averett University,

Ms. Kelley said.

Mr. Collins was working at Grand Valley

State University in Michigan when Dean

Pamela Jeffries, then at Indiana University

(IU), visited the Grand Valley campus almost

20 years ago. At the time, IU was opening

an interdisciplinary simulation center, and

Mr. Collins took a job there at Dr. Jeffries’

urging. He has a background as a paramedic

and then taught advanced cardiac life support

and other courses to health care providers.

“My skillsets in technology and medicine

is a match not everyone has,” Mr. Collins said.

He knows what a manikin should do in a

scenario and how to ensure it happens.

Since health care simulation is a relatively

new field, it’s not entirely clear what makes

up the right set of skills, Ms. Farina said. But

she’s found a formula that works for her team

— and the students. “Now things are going so

smoothly,” Ms. Farina said.


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