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Edinboro University awarded $100,000 grant to replace the Adult Human Patient Simulator


The Dr. & Mrs. Arthur William Phillips Charitable Trust has awarded a $100,000 grant to Edinboro University to be used to replace the Adult Human Patient Simulator in the Department of Nursing.

“We are thrilled, thankful and forever indebted to the Dr. & Mrs. Arthur William Phillips Charitable Trust for their very generous contribution to Edinboro University’s Nursing Department,” said Dr. Terri Astorino, associate professor of Nursing and Simulation Lab Director, who wrote the grant proposal. “The $100,000 grant will significantly enhance the nursing education of our students and others within the community.”  

The Dr. & Mrs. Arthur William Phillips Charitable Trust is an independent foundation based in Oil City, Pa. Established in 1978, it gives primarily to organizations with medical or educational purposes, particularly in the areas of children/youth services, health organization and higher education. The trust is active with many area universities. 

Edinboro University’s Simulation Laboratory was built in 2011 as part of the state-of-the-art Human Services Building.  It has been incorporated into every clinical nursing course that is offered through the Nursing Department.

The entire first floor of the Human Services Building is dedicated to the Department of Nursing.  Housed within this floor are three high-fidelity human patient simulator rooms – a maternity suite, a pediatrics room and an adult medical/surgical room. Designed to replicate a particular room in a hospital, each contains human-patient simulators with correct anatomical features that replicate many human physiological functions.  Students care for the human patient simulator as if he/she were a “real” live patient, discovering critical assessment findings and then proceeding with the clinical thinking and nursing care necessary to ensure a safe, effective outcome for the patient 

“Since the vast majority of our nursing graduates become employed in high-acuity, complex adult health care settings upon graduation, our new graduates must be prepared for the demanding environment of the health care arena as soon as he or she graduates,” Astorino said. “Therefore, the purchase of the new simulator from the grant will allow students to replicate experiences outside of the acute care setting in order to not only learn how to meet the health care needs of their adult patients, but most importantly, do so in a safe manner.”

The new model purchased with the grant funding will replace the original, now technologically outdated Adult Human Patient Simulator with a far more sophisticated model that includes an advanced drug recognition system. The system allows students to administer drugs while simultaneously registering the amount, speed and type of drug automatically and applying the appropriate physiological responses, among numerous other innovations.

Beyond of the Nursing Department, use of the university’s simulation technology has expanded to include the staff nurses at Ghering Health and Wellness Center, who have used the technology to maintain proficiency in emergency situations, as well as Speech-Language Pathology students, for whom assisting patients with swallowing disorders is a major concern. It also is a community resource.  Students from local and regional high schools have visited Edinboro to use the simulators to enhance their learning. 

“The uses for this excellent teaching and learning tool are endless,” Astorino said. “Students verbalize that they prefer simulation to traditional lecture because it connects nursing theory to practice while simultaneously utilizing multiple learning domains.”