Newly Renovated Clinical Lab Opens At Eastern Mennonite University

  • Share:
September 05, 2018
Room To Grow
Newly Renovated Clinical Lab Opens At Eastern Mennonite University
Daily News- Record 9/1/18
HARRISONBURG — Snowy Zhao stepped into the newly renovated clinical lab at Eastern Mennonite University Thursday and was in complete awe.
Zhao, an undergraduate in the prelicensure nursing program at EMU, was one of 96 students in the clinical program who will experience the newly expanded 1,100 square- foot lab.
Laura Yoder, associate professor of nursing, said the renovated space will allow an extra eight students to be admitted into the program, with another eight added in the spring.  “Last year, we only had 96 admitted in the clinical program, but in two years we will have 128 students, which is a big jump for us,” Yoder said.
Renovations, including equipment upgrades, cost $245,000 and were completed Monday. The cost to upgrade the expanded lab, which is an addition to the Lisa Haverstick Memorial Lab, will be paid through private donations and grants.
Previously, lab had seven beds. With the additional space, there will be 12 stations.
Being able to work in the enlarged space and having more simulators to practice on will give Zhao and her classmates more hands- on learning, she said.
“Time is precious in the world of nursing,” she said. “Whenever students were trying to learn and practice before their tests, there just wasn’t enough room or simulators for us to practice on.”
Zhao said the renovated and updated lab will cut much of the learning time in half, an idea that Yoder echoed.
“The environment was so cramped, but today I could tell the students were more relaxed and efficient because they had more space,” she said.
Among many equipment upgrades, the program is having four nursing simulators custom made for the students to practice live scenarios on. Yoder said the simulators are expected to arrive at the campus soon, though she did not know a specific date.
Two simulators are “high- risk fidelity,” which allows their “chest” to move up and down. The other two custom- made simulators will be “midrisk fidelity,” which still allow the students to hear breathing sounds but won’t see much chest movement, according to Yonder.
The lab only has one mid-, one high- and two low- fidelity simulators
at the moment.
Yoder said once the new simulators arrive, their custom design will allow students to manage more difficult clinical situations and prepare them for real world encounters.
Eight beds with cabinets and overbed tables, eight oxygen hookups and IV pumps and other pieces of new equipment already have been placed in the new lab.
Of the $245,000 needed to cover the cost of improvements, about $86,000 has been raised, according to an EMU press release, with fundraising still going on to cover the remaining cost.
The nursing simulation lab memorializes Lisa Haverstick, a 1991 graduate who died in 2004 after a three- week battle with pancreatitis. The private donations, along with a grant from Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, helped pay for the lab’s new equipment and technology.
The university offers a prelicensure, four-year bachelor’s degree and 15-month accelerated second degree program, according to the press release.
According to EMU, nearly every one of the program’s graduates are offered positions during their senior year. About 80 percent of them find work at regional health care facilities, including Sentara RMH, Augusta Health and the University of Virginia Hospital System.
“This program here at EMU has a good reputation and I know with these added benefits, it will provide all of us the best education possible to be successful once we leave here,” Zhao said.

Marina Baker of Appomattox (left) and Esther Ghale of Harrisonburg, both senior nursing students at Eastern Mennonite University, practice patient movement techniques during class Thursday afternoon.

Laura Yoder, associate professor of nursing, demonstrates listening to breathing on a simulator Thursday.

Laura Yoder, an associate nursing professor at Eastern Mennonite University, teaches a class Thursday afternoon.