WCCC News Article

Pre-Nursing Students Learn Geriatrics Through Simulator

Student with geriatric simulation equipment

Students in Pre-Nursing have been experiencing what it is like to be elderly and deal with physical limitations through lessons with a Geriatric simulator kit. The kit features various weights, gloves and straps to simulate the weakness, instability, decreased sensation and stiff joints common in the elderly, and also has glasses that simulate various visual impairments that are also common in the elderly. Juniors Paige Curp and Maggie Cassano, both from Springboro, said the lessons are helping them understand more about how humans move and how age affects mobility. 

“The weights around the chest, arms and legs put you in the mindset of being immobile,” Paige said. “Wearing all of this makes me feel stiff and old. Feeling this helps me know how to help an elderly patient; that this is what they are going through.” 

“I definitely understand more about movement, and that we should never try to rush someone who has these limitations,” Maggie said. Both juniors have earned their State Tested Nursing Assistant certification recently, and will be looking for work in a nursing facility. Paige aspires to be a Nurse Midwife in her career, and Maggie plans to become a Registered Nurse and work in a pediatric emergency room.

“The geriatric simulator helps our students to ‘feel’ what it is to be old, with many of the challenges that the elderly face,” instructor Barb Patterson said. “The vast majority of clients who we serve in healthcare careers are elderly. So it is very important for our students to have some measure of empathy for the struggles their clients face in trying to visit the doctor, perform daily tasks and slow the progress of aging. Having the simulator helps them to get a little bit of first hand experience.”

WCCC offers two classes of Pre-Nursing at the Atrium Campus with instructors Kim Banks and Barb Patterson. In the two classes, 29 seniors and 22 juniors have earned the STNA certification, with several more still testing. In addition, by senior year Pre-Nursing students have the opportunity to earn:
CPR/First Aid
Stop the Bleed
Patient Care Tech certification
Phlebotomy Tech cert
EKG tech cert
Chemical Dependency Counselor Assistant

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