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College Uses Gift to Upgrade Nursing Labs With Latest Technology

July 8, 2005 -- The Mount’s Nursing Department is completing renovations of its skills labs and classrooms this summer to include the latest technology using a $558,000 gift from Unihealth Foundation of Los Angeles.

Remodeled labs at both the Chalon and Doheny campuses will debut in August with new $29,000 anatomically realistic patient care simulators -- the latest in nursing training technology. Each mannequin, known as a "Sim-Man," allows students to navigate a patient’s difficult airway system, practice emergency care procedures, and administer intravenous therapy through a specially designed arm. Students will know if they make a mistake because the simulated human reacts with changing heart rates and blood pressure readings.

The changes come as the College is beginning a three-year expansion of its four nursing programs to increase the number of students in training from 500 to 700. The effort will send more highly-qualified nurses into the Los Angeles health care workforce, graduating 260 students each year instead of 160.

Nursing Department Chair Mary Wickman said she expects that offering the latest technology will attract more students to the College’s already robust nursing programs, and solidify the Mount’s place as the region’s best school for well-trained nurses.

In addition to bringing in top-notch technology, new labs and classrooms are designed as student centers with ample seating and computer stations to bring nurses-in-training together to discuss their coursework. At Chalon, the current lab is being combined with a classroom next door to provide one area for skills learning and a conference table, and another area with a library sitting area, computers, and training equipment. A door will connect the two rooms.

At Doheny, a second skills lab and more classroom space is being added. A sliding door will divide the new Doheny lab from remodeled classroom space that includes rows of tables that each seat four students.

“This is so terrific to see a total change in our skills labs, which are really the center of our programs,” Wickman said. “In our new layout, students will get a chance to collaborate with fellow classmates while learning in a fun and challenging environment.”

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