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NMSU School of Nursing hosts skills fair

New Mexico State University School of Nursing students have a new opportunity to practice hands-on training with the first Preclinical Preparation Labs held Monday, Jan. 13, through Wednesday, Jan. 15, at the College of Health and Social Services building.

Woman on the right shows three women an oxygen mask.
Student nurse Gloria Sevilla, right, introduces fifth-semester nursing students to some of the oxygen equipment they will use in nursing simulation laboratories during the Preclinical Preparation Labs at the College of Health and Social Service building. (NMSU photo by Darren Phillips)

Nursing students from the Las Cruces and Grants campuses are participating in the event.

"All 280 pre-licensure students will be required to rotate through skills stations to prepare them for their various clinical experiences this semester," said Laura Vanyo, school of nursing clinical coordinator. "These stations include practicing skills on mannequins and participating in simulated scenarios with people pretending to be patients and practitioners."

Participating nursing students are preparing to begin their fifth through eighth semesters this spring. The various skills that students will be practicing range from beginning skills such as learning how to take blood pressure and how to calculate correction medication doses to more advance maneuvers such as using suction tubes and inserting catheters.

"The senior nursing students will be practicing their leadership skills by running the basic skills stations with faculty supervising," she said. "Also, there will be health care experts presenting various topics and products."

The nursing students will be working in the labs that are setup like hospital rooms with not only simulated patients, which are electronic patients, but also faculty who have volunteered to be patients, which allows the students to make decisions and provide care for a variety of different scenarios.

Vanyo said these exercises are important to teach the nursing students the necessary skills before they go to a clinical site and work with actual patients.

"We hope that it will help prepare them to be better practitioners, safer practitioners and also learn how to do some of the skills and work as a team," Vanyo said. "Certainly teamwork, communication and patient safety are the most important things that I hope to accomplish."