Kaelan Schultz, from left, Alicia Koredjian and Elizabeth Huff treat a trauma patient in the Brenau Nursing Sim Lab on Tuesday, April 12, 2016, in Gainesville, Ga. (AJ Reynolds/Brenau University)

Cousins for iStan

Above: Undergraduate nursing students from Georgia Kaelan Schultz from Gainesville, Alicia Koredjian and Elizabeth Huff, both from Buford, experience patient care with an iStan simulator.

Janita Mastin and Michael McCannon demonstrate assessment procedures on one of the three simulators in the Brenau University simulator center.
Janita Mastin and Michael McCannon demonstrate assessment procedures on one of the three simulators in the Brenau University simulator center.

A gift by Gainesville residents Anne and George Thomas helped Brenau in 2008 become one of the first nursing schools in the region to have its own iStan human simulation center and embrace the technology as an essential aspect of the health professions training experience.

iStan is an amazing bit of technology that mimics virtually any human condition nurses are likely to encounter with real hospital patients. Simulators breathe, blink, bleed and bellow loud cries.

Over the past eight years, iStan has gained some company in his suite of hospital-like rooms at the Brenau East campus in Gainesville: a second iStan (which with some critical changeable parts can pose as either an adult male or female), a PediaSim ECS male child model and, most recently, a newborn infant simulator. With simulators, students learn quick-thinking patient-care skills,as well as teamwork and managing the sometimes overwhelming pressures of medical careers.

Now, with the need to give future nurses and other health professionals a broader range of experience, the university wants to raise about $1.2 million through the ForeverGold campaign to double the size of the simulation lab – expanding the suite to eight rooms, adding a birthing suite and pediatrics room, as well as setups for acute patient care, neonatal and ICU care.

Forever Gold“It’s an expensive proposition,” says School of Nursing director Dina Hewett, who points out that it costs about $25,000 a year just to maintain and operate the current facility. From a donor perspective, Hewett adds, “You would see almost immediate results from the impact you would have on the quality of nursing education.”

For more information about how to support student experience and the Health Care and Science initiative, visit forevergold.brenau.edu.

Janita Mastin, assistant professor of nursing at Brenau University, talks through the microphone connected to the simulator in the next room. The operator can make the simulator react to the nurses’ treatment by changing the program on the computer.
Janita Mastin, assistant professor of nursing at Brenau University, talks through the microphone connected to the simulator in the next room. The operator can make the simulator react to the nurses’ treatment by changing the program on the computer.

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