POSTED: Wednesday, July 13, 2011 - 4:30pm
UPDATED: Sunday, December 18, 2011 - 5:56am
EL PASO - How many of us would like to experience what a job is like, before actually doing it? That's what some nursing students at UTEP are up to.
At first glance, UTEP's new Simulation Center looks like a hospital, but it's actually a facility where nursing students practice on people posing as patients.
"It replicates what a hospital would be like, but in an environment where it's safe, and we don't actually hurt the patients,” said Melissa Barnes, one of 30 nursing students participating in the program.
Half the students act as patients, while the other half put their nursing skills into action.
"They run a five-hour day, where they have to interact with the patient. They have to do assessments, give medications, do interventions,” said Melissa Wholeben, a nursing instructor.
Wholeben said the simulation exercise is a perfect opportunity for students to learn valuable skills.
"The students actually do enjoy it, sometimes we throw situations at them that they might not quite know how to react to, but that's the beauty of simulation,” said Wholeben.
Barnes couldn't agree more. She said it's a great way for her to experience what it will be like at a hospital.
"These are things I wouldn't have thought of on my own...what could happen...you don't think that someone's going to come in with gallbladder stones and they have cancer. So, it's interesting to see how things progress,” said Barnes.
We're told that today's event is just one of many simulation exercises that the nursing students have to get through before they graduate.
Up next, the students will see how things work in an intensive care unit.