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Technology Fund Provides State-of-the-Art Equipment for New Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner Program

AGNP Students, Roxy and Addie, with SAM II
AGNP Students, Roxy and Addie, with SAM II

The first cohort of Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner (AGNP) students gathered on campus in July in the School of Nursing’s Practice Lab for the first summer session. The session was enhanced by technology made available by the Stemmler Technology Fund for Nursing Department Laboratories, which was created by Brandy and Bertram Stemmler.

With money from the Stemmler Technology Fund, the school was able to buy a Sam II Auscultation Manikin, a SimScope, and an OtoSim otoscopy training and simulation system.

The Sam II Auscultation Manikin is a cardiac respiratory trainer that allows faculty to control heart, lung and bowel sounds on a manikin head and torso. By working with Sam II, students become acquainted with uncommon sounds that may indicate disease or medicine complications.

AGNP Student Using SimScope
AGNP Staff Members Nancy (left) and Kaylin (right) Demonstrate the SimScope’s Function.

A SimScope is a stethoscope that uses programmable sound patches to simulate the sounds that indicate diseases such as pneumonia. An actor portraying a standardized patient wears patches over auscultation sites, where primary care providers listen to heart, breath and bowel sounds.

Janet Willhaus, one of the faculty members who worked with the cohort this summer, states that the Sim Scope “allowed us to portray individuals with illness even when the actor/standardized patient was totally healthy. We programmed the Sim Scope to give lung sounds as if the patient had pneumonia and trained the standardized patient to behave and give answers as if they were ill. The students took the visits very seriously and the Sim Scope helped them identify the problem because we did not have to ‘pretend’ the lung sounds were coarse as they should be with pneumonia. My thanks to the donor for enabling us to use this device. It really adds to the realism of the learning for the students.”

AGNP Students Use Otosim
AGNP Students Demonstrate Otosim’s Function.

The OtoSim otoscopy training and simulation system allows students to accurately practice diagnosing ear problems through experiential learning with a realistic ear model that receives projected images. The students look at the model ear, with realistic feel, shape and composition, including various ear canal complexities. Meanwhile, the faculty can project a variety of high-resolution images of ear diseases to the model ear.

“The College of Health Sciences Simulation Center provides nurse practitioner students with an authentic, hands-on experience allowing them to put theory into practice. Providing our students with state-of-the-art task trainers, like OtoSim, brings their learning to life,” said Becky Bunderson, director of the College of Health Sciences Simulation Center. “The on-campus clinical lab experience provides opportunity for deliberate, repetitive practice that leads to a better prepared practitioner.”

Close-Up View of SimScope and SimScope Patches

“The Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner Program at Boise State offers state-of-the-art simulation equipment and provides students with the highest quality educational materials and training models technology has to offer,” said Dawn Weiler, AGNP program coordinator for the School of Nursing.

The students found the time spent on-campus with its simulation experiences, technology, and innovative teaching methods to be invaluable in learning assessment techniques.