Monday, January 21st, 2019

Lewiston-Auburn updates provide students real-world experience

Krysteana Scribner

Posted on September 29, 2015 in News
By Krysteana Scribner

Krysteana Scribner
Krysteana Scribner
Krysteana Scribner
Krysteana Scribner

In modernized classrooms on a campus that seems so separate from the rest, USM’s Lewiston-Auburn college has finally completed their laboratory and practicum/simulation spaces. These classrooms, which resemble medical rooms of real hospitals, will allow students to gain real-world experience while they work toward earning their degree.

Nursing and Occupational Therapy majors will be the students most likely to use these labs to their fullest potential for learning both inside and outside the classroom. The hope for these new innovations is to provide a supportive learning center as students progress in their learning stages.

In one classroom, hospital beds with all the necessary medical tools line the walls. Some of these beds even have life-like dummies that students can do things such as provide CPR, learn anatomy, check heart rate and much more.

As part of a 15.5 million statewide bond, the ultimate goal of this project is to improve lab and classroom experiences for students, faculty and staff. After it was approved by Maine voters in November 2013, $600,000 total was spent on the Lewiston-Auburn campus alone.

Tammy Bickmore, Director of MOT and Clinical Instructor at the L/A Campus said that these new renovations allow for students to work together in ways they never could before.

In one classroom, the bathroom wall was taken down and wheelchairs were added in.  This area allows students to practice helping their patients in day to day routines such as brushing their teeth, going to the bathroom, etc.

“When we first asked them to take down the wall, they thought we were crazy,” said Bickmore. “But this area has been exceptionally helpful in getting students to understand what it’s like to have to help someone with things they usually take for granted.”

Bickmore also explained that in addition to the simulated medical practices that students can perform on the dummies, one of the other newer rooms has diagrams, charts and models of the human body for students to use as an educational resource.

“We really needed these updated labs in order to provide our students with the necessary tools when they go out in their career field,” said Blake Whitaker, an associate professor of Natural and Applied Sciences. “Every student I’ve talked to is very excited to have the opportunity to use the new labs, so we’re glad to be a University that can provide that for them.”

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