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OHSU School of Nursing Ashland Campus Opens State-of-the-Art Facilities

Students at OHSU School of Nursing Ashland Campus learn, practice and hone their nursing skills at the campus’ state-of-the-art Clinical Learning and Simulation Center, which reopened in 2022 after a $1.1 million renovation project. dollars that OHSU has completed in conjunction with Southern Oregon University. (OHSU/Allen Punch)

Crystal Richard, BS, RN, CSTsees each patient as an individual with a unique perspective and does not want to assume that the traditional approach to health care will work for everyone.

Crystal Richard, BS, RN, CST smiles at the nursing center

Crystal Richard, BS, RN, CST (Courtesy)

Having recently started her first job as a nurse at Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center, Richard, 39, from Medford, hopes the care she provides to patients will also have a wider impact on the local community as a whole.

His personalized and compassionate approach to health care is partly rooted in the many hours Richard spent with rubbery or simulated skin as a first-year nursing student. For his early studies at Oregon Health & Science University School of Nursing Ashland Campus, Richard repeatedly practiced inserting hypodermic needles into squares of fake skin.

Simulations are an essential part of nursing education, and with a newly renovated Simulation and Clinical Learning Center on the OHSU Ashland campus, nursing students will have even more realistic practice with healthcare environments. , better preparing them for quality patient care. Richard joined students, faculty and the community at an open house on Friday, September 23 to celebrate the $1.1 million renovation project, a collaborative effort between OHSU and SOU.

While at the simulation center, Richard mastered the mock injections, then she and her fellow OHSU nursing students began giving flu shots in the arms of real people, under the supervision of their licensed teachers. After the pandemic hit, she was quick to volunteer to support COVID-19 vaccination clinics at community sites such as the Jackson County Expo Center. It was in one of these vaccination clinics, when a clearly nervous patient sat down in front of her, that she realized how helpful her previous practice had been.

“I told them, ‘I think there are two types of people: those who want to know when they’re about to get bitten and those who don’t,'” recalls Richard. “They didn’t want to know, so I asked about their favorite Disney character instead. By the time they shared their answer, the injection was complete. They were grateful.

“All those hours of stitching fake skin has helped me understand the process so well that I can explain what’s happening to patients who prefer it and also try to make it as painless as possible,” added Richard.

Driven to help others

A desire to learn more and help people made Richard decide to go back to school to become a registered nurse. She had worked in healthcare before – as an emergency medical technician, certified practical nurse and surgical technologist – but she wanted a new challenge.

Prior to returning to school, Richard volunteered with Options for Helping Residents of Ashland, or OHRA, a non-profit organization that serves local homeless residents. While there, she interacted with faculty and students at the OHSU School of Nursing Ashland Campus who provide foot baths to the homeless community. Richard was inspired by how the OHSU team met community members without judgment – ​​so much so that she became a shelter navigator and joined the OHSU Ashland chapter of Nursing Students Without Borders as a as a pre-nursing student. When it came time to apply to nursing school, Richard knew she wanted to go to OHSU.

“The OHSU nursing students I met were doing projects that really made a difference in the community, just as I wanted to do then and still want to do today,” said Richard.

As a nursing student, she had many hands-on opportunities with similar impacts, including a variety of clinical rotations. At a local primary care clinic, she worked with patients struggling with depression and substance use disorders. And while partnering with a Providence primary care clinic in Medford, she helped patients understand practical steps they could take to lower their blood pressure and avoid having a stroke.

As healthcare staff continue to fall short of needs across the state, OHSU is recruiting people like Richard who are passionate about helping their communities by improving health and wellness. OHSU hopes to increase the number of healthcare professionals, including nurses, statewide by 30 percent by 2030 as part of its publicly funded 30-30-30 plan.

Turning education into action

Flash forward today, Richard is about a month away from her first nursing job at the same hospital in Medford where she completed two clinical rotations as a student. She is now part of the Rogue Regional Medical Center nursing residency program for recent nursing school graduates. Working closely with experienced registered nurses in an intensive care unit, Richard is enthusiastically learning the ropes of critical care and looks forward to helping many patients and their families for years to come.

“I am honored to be able to support both patients and their families during what is probably the worst time of their lives,” Richard said of his new job in intensive care.

As well as being there during a health crisis, Richard said she also wants to partner with patients and help them better understand their health issues, so they can take action to improve their own well-being. . Eventually, she would like to spend part of her time caring for patients in a hospital or clinic, and the other part of her time teaching students in hopes of inspiring the next generation of nurses – just like her. was inspired by others at OHSU.

More information about OHSU nursing education opportunities at Ashland is available on line. Interested students can also call 541-552-5833.

OHSU Center for Simulation and Clinical Learning

Susan Bakewell Sachs smiles in a green lane at OHSU.

Susan Bakewell-Sachs, Ph.D., RN, FAAN (OHSU)

Dean of OHSU School of Nursing Susan Bakewell-Sachs, Ph.D., RN, FAANpresident of southern Oregon university Richard Bailey, Jr., Ph.D.graduate of OHSU School of Nursing Ashland 2022 Crystal Richard, BS, RN, CSTand others celebrated the newly renovated OHSU Ashland Campus Simulation and Clinical Learning Center at an open house Sept. 23.

A collaborative effort between OHSU and SOU, where the OSHU Ashland campus is based, a $1.1 million renovation project revamped the space of the Clinical Learning and Simulation Center. The enhanced center more closely resembles real-world healthcare environments and can better prepare students for patient care by providing a realistic setting for them to learn and hone their skills.

The nearly 10,000 square foot state-of-the-art center features two mock health care rooms, each with a hospital bed and a high-tech, lifelike medical mannequin. The high-fidelity mannequins appear and feel like they’re breathing, beating hearts, bleeding, talking and more – all under the control of school staff watching from an adjoining room. The video is recorded as the students practice responding to various scenarios, including dealing with a heart attack, caring for patients with dementia or who have already suffered trauma, and helping those at the end of life. . Then, students and faculty watch the video together to rate how the student fared with patient care.

“We help our students become knowledgeable, skilled and compassionate nurses who have a real impact on the lives of their patients,” Bakewell-Sachs said. “While an essential part of an OHSU nursing education is in-depth, hands-on learning in real-world settings like hospitals and clinics, we first teach students important knowledge and skills in health care in simulation labs like this. Simulation provides a safe space to master new knowledge and even learn from mistakes, so students can gain confidence and skill before interacting with patients. »

Quick Facts: OHSU School of Nursing, Ashland Campus

  • 148 total students enrolled in fall 2022
  • Local students are enrolled in the following programs:
    • First cycle :
    • Graduate: (Portland-based programs with distance learning)
  • Was part of OHSU School of Nursing in 1992
  • Co-located at Southern Oregon University
  • One of five regional campuses of the OHSU School of Nursing
  • Other campuses: Klamath Falls, La Grande, Monmouth, Portland