Program nurses students’ knowledge

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Pima offers premier training in the field of nursing and caregiving.

Nursing Assistant, Patient Care Technician, Licensed Practical Nurse, Associate of Applied Science in Nursing, Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing and refresher courses for RNs and LPs are all certifications offered through Pima.

Pima says students who choose to train with them have enjoyed gainful employment, rewarding careers and access to higher education.

Sky Merton, an instructor in the nursing program, says they offer many different options for students to receive numerous certifications.

“We are partners with different colleges and universities, like Arizona State and Arizona Northern universities,” Merton said. “We have many different pathways students can take for different certifications. You can be working on your associate degree and it counts for your bachelor’s at the same time.”

Merton said to get into one of their nursing programs you have to attend a nursing info session before applying, which helps you find the certificate you think is best for you.

“To be a nurse, you need really good communication skills,” Merton said. “You have to be compassionate, caring, be a critical thinker, be able to identify problems, and be a good teacher because sometimes the nurse has to teach the patient. The info sessions help them find the best fit, with an adviser’s help.”

Merton said the next info session will be at 9 a.m, Dec. 8, at West Campus.

Merton said they offer a variety of different training modalities between lecture and alternative strategies, including practice labs, hands-on training at skilled nursing facilities and hospitals and high-tech mannequins.

“They are high-fidelity simulation mannequins,” Merton said. “They have a heartbeat with multiple pulse points, communicate, blink, their pupils change size; it’s as close to a real patient as it can be. You can listen to their lungs, measure blood pressure, administer medications, palpate, insert IVs, tubes, or drains. One even simulates giving birth, and we have a baby to work on too.”

Jolene Marcelli, an instructor in the nursing program, said the mannequins are extremely useful to educate students.

“The students really like it and learn a lot,” Marcelli said. “They take what they learned in theory and apply it in a controlled environment. They don’t have to worry about hurting the patient while they practice.”

The students go in one at a time, and treat a mannequin whose vitals are being controlled by an instructor. The rest of the class watches in another room on a screen, and when the student has completed their treatment/assessment of the mannequin they return to the class.

The instructor and all of the students discuss each treatment situation after it is complete, and the class gets to learn from each individual’s experience and choices.

Marcelli said that most of the instructors also are employed as nurses, and they integrate their work experiences into the student’s education.

“We go to work, something happens, we bring it here in a scenario for them work on,” Marcelli said. “It helps them be better prepared for the field.”

Ryan Bartz, a first semester nursing student, agreed.

“There’s a good balance between the lectures, labs, and hands-on training,” Bartz said. “There’s a lot to it. All of the instructors bring experience which is super advantageous.”

Ryan Bartz, a first-year nursing student, goes over vital charts and medicine instructions.

Aaron Lindflott, a first-semester nursing student, says the faculty makes sure the students get the best education they can as a priority.

“They ask us what changes they can make to help us, or if we want to go over something,” Lindflott said. “We said we wanted to go over certain medications, and that’s what we did today. They really do care and let you know they are here to help you.”

Andrea Zepeda agreed and said the instructors are really supportive.

Rebecca Stewart, a first-semester nursing student, says the faculty has great experience to share and teaches efficiently.

“Everything is integrated really well,” Stewart said.

Marcelli said in the future they are bringing in students from Radiology, Dental and Respiratory Therapy to learn how to solve medical situations together like they would in the field.

“We’re going to set a simulation day where they all come in and work on a scenario together,” Marcelli said. “We want to integrate their training to provide the best education we can.”

Rebecca Stewart, a first-year nursing student, talks to her mannequin about medicine instructions.

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