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Student nurses respond to St. Joseph Medical Center code blue simulation

More than 20 senior nursing students gathered at St. Joseph Medical Center Feb. 24 to practice their critical thinking skills while making decisions about their future.

During the first session of a three-part series, the students teamed up with the hospital’s nurse educators to take part in a “mega code,” which is a simulated cardiac arrest where they practice as members of a team and learn to integrate the knowledge and skills of advanced cardiac life support (ACLS).

Armed with the patient scenario, they were challenged to take the lead far from the pressures of their classrooms. Don Hirsch, Emergency Medical Services liaison and emergency outreach coordinator, led the simulation.

“This type of event gives the students an environment where they aren’t being tested,” he said. “They can relax, have some fun and get hands-on experience with the equipment.”

They practiced intubations, placed Intraosseous lines and used the LUCAS device, which automates chest compressions.

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Code Blue Simulation

“The students absolutely loved it,” said Stephanie Grejdus, director of clinical development and nursing practice. It gave them a unique opportunity to participate in a skill that isn’t always covered by nursing school curriculum. “Many of them have simulators in their nursing school setting but haven’t used them in a code situation.”

In addition to the nurse educators they partnered with, students met with members of nursing administration and hiring managers. With multiple opportunities available, the students have options.

“Many of the students told us that they prefer to go into specialties,” Grejdus said. “St. Joseph Medical Center hires new graduates into these specialty positions, while some hospitals do not. Fortunately, most of this group wants to come to acute care in some capacity.”

The second session of the series will take place Thursday, March 24, from 4 to 6 p.m. In another simulated event, students will follow a heart attack patient through the Emergency Department, catheterization laboratory, operating room and Intensive Care Unit.

The third session runs from 4 to 6 p.m. Thursday, April 21. Based on the popular escape-room theme, the “Totally Tubular” event will challenge participants’ knowledge of the various tubes used in patient care. Nursing students are encouraged to register by email for either event.

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