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Nursing Labs

Two on-campus Nursing Labs offer simulation instruction using state-of-the-art technology and teaching methods.

Nursing students develop skills and confidence as they practice real-life patient scenarios under the supervision of our clinical faculty. Learn more at

Students are introduced to the skills lab beginning the fall of sophomore year. And they are in the skills lab one day a week working on assessment, so head to toe assessment on each other. And practicing therapeutic communication and doing interviews. Second semester sophomore year, they go to clinical at Dartmouth, one day a week and the other day week, they still are in skills. But instead of doing therapeutic communication and assessment skills on each other, they're working on different tasks. All the skills that they will see frequently in the clinical setting, they have a chance to do in the skills lab, where they can make mistakes, and it's okay, where they can handle the equipment and make sure that they're fairly comfortable with the equipment before they actually have to apply it to a real person. So some of the technology they'll see in the skills lab include using electronic health record, which is important when you're trying to learn how to therapeutically communicate. And then second semester sophomore year, they have use of the mannequins, some of our mannequins have pulses, and they are able to take blood pressures using the mannequins we have a new mannequin Juno that will give us the sounds like the hospital, she also allows us to do IV push, they're able to take out gastric fluids from the G tube and practice testing Ph. There's a lot of different things we can do with this new mannequin that provides us with more opportunities for a lifelike experience.

My favorite part about skills lab is really being able to practice as many times as we want coming into the lab. Personally, my favorite thing to practice is doing an IV push and setting up an IV pump. It really makes me feel like I'm a nurse and makes me feel more comfortable in the clinical setting at Dartmouth. Hitchcock said My favorite part about schools love is that it's it's open for everyone we can come in here and practice whenever you want, like me or my peers, we can it's just like a comfortable space, we can all come together and help each other improve. So skill five has affected my time at clinical because it's made me more confident in the skills aren't performing. So when I go into a patient's room, I'm not acting nervous, and I'm not making the patient nervous vice versa. And that way they are more competent with the care I'm providing and I'm more competent, providing them the care they need. Really all the skills that you learn within lab are something that are used in the clinical experience once you start at Dartmouth Hitchcock.

We are in the Mercer nursing lab at Colby Sawyer College. This lab is mainly used for simulation, but it's also used for students to come down and practice their skills. When students come to simulation, which begins the second semester of their sophomore year, they are immersed into experience with a simulated patient. They're able to assess the patient, speak with the patient, and gather all kinds of information and clinical data to analyze so that they can make appropriate nursing interventions. So sim lab is super helpful when we arrive at Dartmouth because all of the tools that we use here we see at Dartmouth as well. If you make mistakes, we can just learn from them. And then never make that same mistake again. at Dartmouth or in our practice. We also get super good feedback from our professors on how we can do better.

The SIM lab is really helpful because we get to talk and practice therapeutic communication along with nursing interventions on a patient where we're safe to practice and make mistakes and learn from them. We have real people coming in through the screens, or interacting with us through the mannequins while vital signs change, and we have to talk to them as if they are a real patient.

My favorite part about sim lab is being able to be hands on with the patients and we get to practice all the skills that we have to do at Dartmouth such as injections, IDs, assessments, and more.

My favorite part sim is going in and not really knowing what's going to happen. That's the exciting part is very realistic to our experience, the hospital where we don't know necessarily everything that's about to happen going in. We get to assess and find out As we're moving and then change our interventions based on those, I think that's a really exciting part and what makes simulation so beneficial.

After the simulation is done, we speak about the experience with the students and they're able to learn from the situation they were just placed in. It's great because students come back and tell me that they saw something at Dartmouth Hitchcock that was just like it was in simulation and they were able to learn from it and apply those skills at clinical