DOVER, Del. – The Delaware Tech Terry Campus recently received a $76,463 grant from Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Delaware's BluePrints for the Community grant program, funding that will go toward adding additional equipment to the campus' new state-of-the-art nursing simulation lab.
The check presentation and announcement occurred during the annual Terry Campus Donor Appreciation Luncheon, held November 13, and raised Highmark's total contribution to the lab to $238,660, as a previous grant of $162,197 was awarded in 2013.
“Thanks to the continued support of Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Delaware, the Terry Campus will continue to serve the healthcare needs of our community by producing well-trained and highly-qualified graduates who are job ready,” said Dr. June Turansky, Campus Director and College Vice President. “Highmark's grant program has single-handedly funded this simulation lab, for which we are extremely grateful and appreciative.”
“We created the BluePrints for the Community grant program in 2007 to address issues faced by the underserved and underinsured in our community,” said Tim Constantine, President, Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Delaware. “One of the areas the grant program focuses on is recruiting and training health care professionals. Through these grants we were able to help create a state-of-the-art simulation lab so Delaware Tech can continue to attract and graduate highly-trained nurses. Nurses that provide high quality care throughout Delaware.”
The five-bay simulation lab, which just opened for the current fall semester, features three medical-surgical simulation mannequins, a maternal child mannequin, and a pediatric unit. Through computer programming, run by instructors behind a one-way mirror, the mannequins can talk, breathe, have pulse and temperature fluctuations and can replicate any medical scenario, including giving birth and cardiac arrest.
“These are high-fidelity mannequins, which create a realistic patient care environment for our students to allow them to practice and refine their skills in a safe and controlled environment,” said Jo Ann Baker, Instructional Director of the Terry Campus Nursing department. “This lab gives them the opportunity to experience situations and scenarios that, in the past, they would have only heard about in the classroom or would experience for the first time during interaction with an actual patient.”
The latest grant will be used to equip the lab with a ventilator, defibrillator, infant radiant warmer, bladder scanner and a SimJunior mannequin, among other items.
“Technology has tremendously changed the role of nursing,” said Baker. “This simulation lab allows our students to become familiar with today's modern technology and equipment, and acquire the specialized skills required to use it.”
The increased access to equipment and technology will only enhance an already highly-successful program, as Terry Campus Nursing graduates have the highest pass rate in the state for those taking the NCLEX-RN and NCLEX-PN exams.