Clark State Community College faculty Jan Didich literally stumbled onto an idea for her students last fall semester. Didich, associate professor of practical nursing at Clark State, fell and broke her wrist the day before classes began in August of 2017.
Didich, along with Kathi Stute, nursing skills and simulation lab coordinator for Clark State, developed the obstetrics simulation lab for Practical Nursing (LPN) students at the Clark State Ohio Hi-Point location in Bellefontaine, Ohio.
“I needed to provide an experience for the students without taking them into the clinical area,” said Didich. “To accomplish this, Kathi Stute and I put our heads together and transformed the student lab at the Ohio Hi-Point location into a ‘birthing unit.’”
Didich said the simulation included what students would experience in a hospital setting, but with a simulation maniken. “The simulator talks, moans and cries-out, just like a woman may do during labor,” she said. “Monitors are part of the scenario to show contractions as well as monitor the fetus.”
Students also had to learn to care for a mother following a natural delivery or cesarean section delivery.
“In a clinical setting, we cannot guarantee that a student will have the experience of seeing a natural delivery or care for a post-delivery mom and newborn baby,” said Didich. “With simulation we can. All of the students are guaranteed these experiences and be able to complete the day with all of their questions answered.”
Didich said the student Assessment Technologies Institute (ATI) test results were remarkable, and evaluations for the students were positive. “Utilizing the resources that we had available to us and imagination, we developed the simulation day,” she said. “It cost us no extra money, and we were able to run the lab day alone.”
Recently, Didich and Stute presented the OB simulation lab at a conference in Minnesota. Didich said there were many other colleges that had developed a similar lab, but had received extensive funding to do so. Didich and Stute presented “Simply Simple Simulation” to show that anyone can do a similar lab without spending a lot of time or money.
“The conference was great, we had so many positive responses from other nursing schools regarding our information,” said Stute. “On simulation day, it was refreshing to see the students in action during the simulation and performing the nursing actions they had learned in theory class. It was a great learning experience and the future of clinical simulation will be very exciting.”
The 12-month Practical Nursing certificate is approved by the Ohio Board of Nursing and the Ohio Department of Higher Education. This program is offered at Clark State's Bellefontaine and Springfield locations. The program is also offered as a part-time evening-weekend option at the Clark State Greene Center in Beavercreek.