The College of Nursing’s Doctor of Nursing Practice programs, which were recently recognized among the nation’s best by U.S. News and World Report, recently added another tool to their teaching arsenal – the gift of an ultrasound machine. 

Donated by Roslyn and Jody Burttram, the new technology will be housed in the internationally accredited Simulation, Technology, Innovation and Modeling (STIM) Center at the College of Nursing. Roslyn Burttram is a former critical care nurse who knew the ultrasound machine would be an invaluable component of graduate nursing education.  

It’s the perfect complement to the STIM Center’s simulation suites, which include the Knights Nursery & Pediatric Unit, Critical Care Lab, a nurse’s station, a Pyxis automated medicine dispenser, two crash carts (adult and pediatric), the Clinical Skills Lab, and the Andersen Assessment Lab, says Frank Guido-Sanz, assistant professor and a key faculty member in the program.  

Recently, Guido-Sanz unveiled the technology to the current cohort of graduate students in the acute care nurse practitioner program 

“It was better than opening presents on Christmas day,” Guido-Sanz says. “And when I saw the looks on my students’ faces, it was better than seeing my children opening the presents they had been wanting forever.” 

Although the STIM Center has models and mannequins on which to practice and train, the new technology has many benefits. Guido-Sanz showed the cohort some of the ultrasound machine’s capabilities on his own neck.  

As Guido-Sanz guided the transducer along his neck, he pointed out various anatomical features as they appeared on the computer monitor. 

“There is the internal jugular vein,” he said to the rapt cohort. “We can also see the common carotid artery here, and as we go down, we visualize the external jugular vein.”  

The distinction was important, Guido-Sanz says. Without being able to visualize the correct placement of the needle or catheter, the results could be catastrophic.  

Prior to ultrasound technology, proper placement of a catheter would be confirmed via x-rays, Guido-Sanz says.  

“It’s not just another piece of equipment or technology,” Guido-Sanz says. “It’s something that is essential to the core of our curriculum, and it pays off in so many ways – in our students’ training and satisfaction with our program, for example. But most importantly, in patient outcomes and safety.” 

“When I learned that an ultrasound machine would be vital in nursing education to help teach the graduate students invasive techniques as part of their learning through simulation, I knew this would be an exciting addition to their curriculum,” Roslyn Burttram says. “I am a huge fan of nurse practitioners, and to be able to help further their education is a real thrill for me.” 

“We are committed to workforce-ready graduates,” Guido-Sanz says. “Our graduates routinely surpass the national average on the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners certification exam and are highly sought after by hospital systems. We are so grateful to the Burttrams for their generous gift to help advance the impact and knowledge of our students.” 

 

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