The Nursing Department at Southern Arkansas University has obtained new equipment that will provide students the hands-on training they need to work in clinical situations treating COVID patients or other patients on ventilators, another example of the cutting-edge technology SAU offers to the 80 students in its BSN program.

Dr. Karen Landry, Chair of Nursing, said the SAU Foundation provided funds received through the ongoing Love and Loyalty Campaign to purchase the ASL 5000 breathing simulator, which allows students to run scenarios with patients who are breathing with assistance of a ventilator. These simulations prepare nursing students for situations they will encounter in real-life ICUs with patients being ventilated for COVID, heart surgery, strokes, or other conditions.

In addition to the ASL 5000, the department also recently purchased a mechanical ventilator for use on its high-fidelity mannequins, allowing students to gain quality clinical and decision-making skills in a simulated environment.

“Thanks to the generosity of alumni and friends, our program is able to produce caring, competent nurses trained in the latest technology for complex medical cases within acute healthcare environments,” Landry said. “We are one of the few nursing programs in the state offering training on the ASL 5000 and other cutting-edge technologies.”

SAU strives to keep its nursing students on the forefront of technology in healthcare settings. This includes cardiac monitoring, using iPads at the bedside to access electronic health records, and accessing medications through an automated medication dispensing system. SAU’s BSN students are prepared using evidence-based practice as a foundation for clinical judgment.

Landry said it is imperative for SAU to produce nurses who can meet the demands of the healthcare field during the pandemic. “We are so grateful for the continued private support through the Foundation for the Nursing Program,” she said.

For more information about SAU’s Nursing Department, please visit Department of Nursing | Southern Arkansas University (saumag.edu).

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