Emily Salacina, professional development specialist at Trinity Health
Saint Mary's, right, works with nurse residents Alaina Heitmeyer,
left, and Brittany Radtke in the simulation lab. Radtke graduated from
Grand Valley in April with a bachelor's degree in nursing.
Vicki Swendroski, clinical quality specialist, shows a manikin at the
simulation center at Trinity Health Saint Mary's.
Recent GVSU nursing graduates Brittany Radtke, left, and Sarah
Remillard talk in the simulation lab at Trinity Health Saint Mary's.
A recent corporate sponsor gift from Grand Valley to Trinity Health
Saint Mary’s has helped the hospital purchase new equipment for its
Grand Rapids interprofessional simulation center.
It's equipment that Vicki Swendroski, clinical quality specialist,
said will help new nurses, like GVSU graduates Brittany Radtke and
Elizabeth Gaugier, and other hospital employees master skills and
practice new techniques.
"At the simulation center, it is simulation learning and
mastery, not testing as in nursing school. We want people to do a task
over and over until it's perfect," Swendroski said. "We're
looking for time management skills and communication during simulation exercises."
The university's gift allowed for purchase of an obesity suit and leg
edema shroud, both of which can be used with a high-fidelity manikin
or a standardized patient, and a virtual reality headset. Gina
Schrader, director of professional practice and development, said the
items had been on their wish list.
"We are so grateful to Grand Valley for this gift, which allows
us to create more realistic simulations for our staff," Schrader said.
The simulation center was established in 2010 and relies on grants
and sponsored gifts like Grand Valley's to purchase equipment. Staff
plan simulations and offer training for nurses, medical residents,
respiratory therapists, pharmacists and lab technicians.
Radtke and Gaugier graduated from Grand Valley in April and now
participate in Trinity Health's nurse residency program, which is
designed for recent graduates. They said their education and training
through the Kirkhof College of
Nursing prepared them well for their first nursing jobs.
"We are paired with a preceptor throughout our orientation and
these simulations are very similar to what we did as nursing
students," Radtke said.
Gaugier, who works in the Emergency department, said the residency
program is partly what drew her to apply at Trinity Health Saint Mary’s.
"We have seminars throughout the year of residency and I'm able
to talk with people from all over the hospital," Gaugier said.
"The simulations have helped a lot. By front-loading these
experiences for us, I have all the tools I need when I step into a