Grant allows nursing school to build state-of-the-art simulation center

Students at the University of Houston-Victoria School of Nursing soon will have a cutting-edge lab with human simulators to practice their skills on thanks to a $218,000 grant from the M.G. and Lillie A. Johnson Foundation of Victoria.

Kathryn Tart
Kathryn Tart

“This generous grant will help us to greatly advance the role of area nurses so they can improve the quality of healthcare available to everyone in this region and beyond,” said Kathryn Tart, founding dean of the UHV School of Nursing.

The Patient Care Simulation Center, which will be located in the southwest corner of University Center, 3007 N. Ben Wilson St., will contain sophisticated human simulators and other equipment in a four-bed, two-exam-table area that will mimic many functioning healthcare facilities.

“Through simulated scenarios and practice, we can give nurses hands-on experience in dealing with situations they otherwise could only read about,” Tart said. “This means a superior learning experience for our student nurses and, ultimately, superior care for their patients.”

The lab will be the new permanent home for the school’s current 3G SimMan, a human simulator that can mimic responses like pulse rate, perspiration and respiration. With the additional funding, the school will purchase a pregnant mother and baby SimMan, as well as modules to expand the capabilities of the new and existing medical robots.

The simulation equipment in the lab will allow students to expand skills in both diagnosing and treating diseases without any risk to actual patients.

“We will be able to simulate how real patients will react to what the nurses do, be it right or wrong,” Tart said.

The lab facilities also will be used by faculty members for research.

The new facilities are expected to be completed in July and will be available to nursing students in the fall.

“I want to thank the Johnson Foundation for its continued investment in the health and quality of life of everyone in this region,” Tart said. “It will return benefits to many people for many years to come.”

The University of Houston-Victoria, located in the heart of the Coastal Bend region since 1973 in Victoria, Texas, offers courses leading to more than 80 academic programs in the schools of Arts & Sciences; Business Administration; and Education, Health Professions & Human Development. UHV provides face-to-face classes at its Victoria campus, as well as an instructional site in Katy, Texas, and online classes that students can take from anywhere. UHV supports the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Opportunities for All initiative to increase awareness about state colleges and universities and the important role they have in providing a high-quality and accessible education to an increasingly diverse student population, as well as contributing to regional and state economic development.

Thomas Doyle 361-570-4342