TU’s simulation lab creates high-tech learning scenarios for nursing students

In the high-tech simulation lab at TU’s Oxley College of Health Sciences, nursing students develop hands-on skills and build confidence before starting their clinical rotations.

Learn more about TU’s nursing program.

Located in downtown Tulsa, the college’s facilities opened in 2015 and feature labs that emulate a variety of care settings. Lifelike, computerized mannequins known as high-fidelity simulators replicate real-life scenarios a student will face as an RN.

Working alongside supportive faculty members, students can practice skills such as suctioning an intubated patient, performing CPR on an infant, responding to a code or administering wound care. “You’re able to practice those critical skills in the simulation lab before you get to the hospital so that you feel competent and knowledgeable,” said Rachel Detlefs, a senior in TU’s nursing school.

Simulation experiences begin during a nursing student’s sophomore year and are integrated into the curriculum through the senior year. The state-of-the-art lab houses five rooms set up for different scenarios, including an ICU, home setting, operating room suite, cardiac simulation suite and a general hospital room. Simulating models for infants, pediatrics and adults give students experience working with a range of ages and conditions.

“With such a high level of simulation woven throughout the entire program, students are ready to hit the ground running when they get into a hospital setting,” said Carla Lynch, clinical assistant professor of nursing.

Through the use of video monitoring technology, students can review simulation lab experiences with faculty and peers. “If students make a mistake or didn’t handle a situation in the best way, they can reflect on that experience and be more prepared when they’re in a clinical setting,” said Lynch.

“Working in the simulation lab is a good opportunity to prepare for clinicals and real-life situations,” said Suzanne Reeves, a junior. “It’s so much different from being in the classroom when you have a chance to put everything into practice.”