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$75,000 Gift Supports the Simulation Laboratory

Posted: July 6, 2008

The Hillcrest Foundation, founded by Mrs. W.W. Caruth, Sr., donated $75,000 to The University of Texas at Austin School of Nursing to purchase three human simulation mannequins for the school’s Learning Center Simulation Laboratory (Sim Lab). The Sim Lab provides a unique and highly effective training opportunity for the School of Nursing's students. Computerized mannequins come complete with organ systems and internal software that provide physiologic responses like change in heart rate, blood pressure, heart tones, murmurs, breath sounds, bowel sounds, and full vocalizations. Students are able to learn in a risk-free environment and practice interactive learning, critical thinking, team leadership, and reactions to high-pressure situations. The Sim Lab has four patient examination areas which imitate doctors’ offices, clinics, and hospitals. Faculty members guide course lab exercises and one-way mirrors and video monitoring allow for unobtrusive observation. Real-life scenarios allow students to practice patient management at the bedside, and scenarios are designed according to the student’s skill level. Time spent in the sim lab counts as a clinical credit, hour for hour.

These human simulation mannequins include: Noelle, a female birthing mannequin; Hal, a newborn infant; and Hal 2, a pediatric patient. They will join two other simulation mannequins currently used for training at the school. The mannequins will be purchased and operational for the fall of 2008.

The Hillcrest Foundation of Dallas was founded in 1957 by Mrs. W. W. Caruth, Sr. to provide financial support to qualified charitable organizations in Texas for the advancement of education, the promotion of health, and the relief of poverty. The School of Nursing is grateful for this generous gift and for the foundation’s commitment to advanced nursing education.