Henry Ford College


Nursing Practice Skills and Simulation Labs

The East Campus HFC nursing building houses three practice skills labs and three simulation labs. The bed labs have multiple patient cubicles designed to mimic real patient rooms containing the usual health care equipment and supplies. The bed labs also contain computers which have intranet and internet access.

There is a separate computer lab and lab office on-site. The lab office contains resources along with other reference material for student and faculty access. The labs are an integral part of our nursing instruction and provide students with clinical exposure opportunities in a risk-free environment. The labs become the “clinical classroom,” where students can develop affective and psychomotor skills necessary for safe, high quality, direct patient care. Faculty utilize the labs to teach health assessment and nursing skills using simulation and other evidence-based techniques.

Using the best practice guidelines, faculty plan, implement, and evaluate simulation scenarios, student instruction, and learning experiences. Instruction for technical aspects of nursing care are possible and managed properly with the use of low, middle, and high-fidelity patient simulators, audio-visual equipment, computers, and biomedical equipment. Technology-based instruction helps students achieve learning outcomes.

This rich learning environment facilitates the students’ development of clinical reasoning skills and collaborative communication. Lab opportunities provide students clinically relevant care situations that facilitate independence and assist their transition into the student nurse role while serious risks inherent in direct patient care are eliminated.

The HFC labs have state of the art clinical simulation equipment. There are multiple mannequins including SimMan®, SimBaby® and Novelle®, which are programmable human patient simulators. These allow for the use of a wide range of clinical scenarios that will facilitate student skill development from simple to complex.

Scenarios allow the students to simulate direct care as a situation unfolds and the patient condition changes over time. They also are designed to incorporate psychological aspects of patient care. The scenarios mimic real world nursing. The student uses clinical reasoning, practices skills, and corrects errors all without patient harm. This is accomplished as the student is learning to function and communicate as part of a collaborative team. Reflective learning is a key component of all lab experiences, particularly simulation. Debriefing of cognitive, behavioral, and affective skills is done through immediate learner feedback and performance review.