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Educational Training Lab First of its Kind in New Hampshire

by Michael Johns, Project Manager | May 24, 2006
According to HealthCare Review, Northeast Network, job training at Monadnock Community Hospital (MCH) has never been so easy.

Back in October, MCH officially opened its Educational Training Lab. And thanks to its convenient location and its many training tools, nurses at the facility are raving about the quick and efficient way they can learn new skills, or even brush up on old ones.

"We're a teaching and learning organization," said Claudia Cleary-Nichols, who is the nursing education coordinator for the hospital's Medical-Surgical Unit (APU), ICU, and ED. "And this type of lab fits in perfectly with Monadnock's philosophy. The best part is, it's easy. We're bringing the education to our staff."

The Educational Training Lab - the first of its kind in the state of New Hampshire - was the brainchild of Lisa Perales, who is the nurse manager for the APU, ICU, and ED. According to her, having the lab situated at the hospital was key (the lab is located right on the APU floor). Being able to offer training and education at the facility is significantly more beneficial to staff than anything of the off-site variety.

"It's a time issue," Perales said. "Today's nurses just don't have the time to be traveling elsewhere to receive training. With this lab, we can have nurses show up right before their shift begins. We even have instances where nurses pick up the slack for an hour or so, that way one of their fellow nurses can undergo a training session during a shift."

Perales also wanted to ensure the lab -0 which is staffed by the team of Perales, Cleary-Nichols, Melissa Brown, Jill Mattson, and Christy-Sue Richtarcsik - have the ability to give nurses a multitude of training options. Currently, it features an advanced IV arm, which can help staff with skills such as IV insertions, IM injections, intra-dermal injections, and drawing blood. A training doll helps with NG tube insertions, Foley catheter insertions, tracheostomy care, wound care, and stoma care. And a life-sized mannequin head can be used for practicing intubations.

The lab also features an extensive reference library, as well as the necessary equipment to conduct PowerPoint presentations.

"We wanted to custom design the lab to meet the needs of our staff," Perales said. "We wanted to make it diverse. Having many educational and training options does that." And while it's important to learn new skills, honing old ones is equally vital. Especially at a rural hospital like MCH, where nurses may go weeks in between performing a certain procedure. "We don't have a high census here," Brown said. "It's great we have the opportunity to simulate patient care. It makes nurses more self-confident."