On February 1, 2017 Palm Healthcare Foundation hosted a reception at the Our Body: The Universe Within exhibit at the South Florida Science Center. The reception featured a presentation on Our Body & Keeping It Healthy by trustee David Dodson, MD and a Simulation In Nursing Education presentation by Palm Beach Atlantic University. Dean Joanne Masella of PBAU Nursing School was joined by the Associate Dean of the Undergraduate Program–Pat Heyman, Skills Lab Coordinator–Christine Conti, Simulation Coordinator–Kristen Gagne, and Senior Nursing Student–Roseanne Jean Pierre in the presentation.

The presentation highlighted the effectiveness and importance of simulation in training new nurses. When student nurses enter a patient’s room and find them in distress, they are relegated to the corner–if not out the door–in order to give the patient the needed emergency care. This is obviously important for the patient’s well-being, but it does leave a gaping hole in a student’s preparation.  Simulation helps to fill that hole. By using high-fidelity mannequins that can be programmed with various heart and lung sounds and more, a scenario is created in the simulation lab that replicates these emergency situations and allows the student nurse to fully experience assessing the patient, to deal with the stress of an emergency situation, and above all, to have to think like a nurse and make needed decisions on what to do and who to call.

Palm Healthcare Foundation recently made a major contribution to Palm Beach Atlantic University’s Nursing Simulation Program, enabling the purchase of additional high fidelity mannequins and additional high-end hospital equipment. The university gratefully acknowledges this grant which is enabling our program to grow apace with Simulation programs across Florida so that our students are well prepared as they graduate with their BSN degrees.

Roseann Jean Pierre, a senior nursing student at PBA, also spoke. A recipient of a Palm Healthcare Foundation Nursing Scholarship, Roseanne, who will be the first person in her family to graduate from college, spoke about balancing life, work, and her studies.  Generous scholarships, such as those given by Palm Healthcare, are invaluable in helping students focus on their studies rather than how to pay for them.