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Nursing Skills Lab Opens

Published: March 21, 2006
Step into the new on-campus nursing skills lab, and you might feel as though you’ve entered a hospital wing. The lab features a nursing station, medical instruments, a supply closet, a simulated intensive care unit, and 10 beds occupied by mannequins.

Dr. Nancy Ross, director of the UT nursing program, said that practicing in a simulated environment was a vital aspect of nursing education. The facility, which opened in February in the Nursing/Communication Building, provides additional space for nursing students to practice clinical skills such as seizure precaution, sterile procedure, oxygen administration and tube feeding.

“We are committed to graduating students ready to contribute to enhancing the health and well-being of all who need their care and attention,” said Ross. “This lab provides the opportunity to teach all of the skills a nurse needs to have mastered prior to entering the profession.”

While gathered with classmates in the new lab, Allison Kozloski, a junior nursing student from Maryland, practiced on “Chloe” – one of the mannequins designed for nursing education. Her assignment was to use the “complex simulated human” to demonstrate procedure for maintaining breathing airways for a patient who has undergone a tracheotomy.

“We’re practicing six hours a day,” said Kozloski. “In a few weeks, we’re going to go up to the floors and will do the real thing with a real person.”

This semester, two nursing classes have begun using the on-campus lab, while other students are using the nursing skills lab located at Tampa General Hospital. Tressa Pedroff, a clinical instructor who teaches in the new facility, said that the labs offer increased capability.

“It’s so much easier because you can actually demonstrate hands-on with the actual equipment that the students will be using versus showing them in a book,” said Pedroff. “So then, not only do you have the ability to demonstrate live, but the students have a large period of time in which to practice and utilize us for answering their questions.”

The new lab was made possible in part by a gift from the Walter Foundation. For more information, contact the Office of Public Information at or (813) 253-6232.