Hospital beds in the Health Professions Center offer real-world experience
KOKOMO, Ind. — Between them, these five members of Ivy Tech Kokomo’s nursing faculty have accumulated 84 years of experience in the nursing profession. Their years of service in the field range from six to 33. They’ve provided patient care from nursing home rooms to emergency rooms, in jobs ranging from nurse’s aide to psychiatric mental health nurse to supervising a hospital’s nursing staff. They’ve earned everything from certificates in Practical Nursing to master’s degrees in nursing specialties.
And they have each funded a hospital bed in Ivy Tech Kokomo’s new Health Professions Center to help provide high-tech, hands-on, real-life experience for the nursing students they all teach and mentor.
Three of the faculty members – Brian Arwood, Katie Douglass, and Lacy Kiel – have funded beds for mannequins in the Nursing classroom and lab where beginning students can practice skills like making physical assessments and taking vital signs, providing wound care, administering medication and injections, and caring for tracheostomies and nasogastric feeding tubes. Here, students learn the basics – how to raise and lower the bed, how to extend footboards, how to weigh patients. These new beds, complete with bedside tables, mimic the patient environment students will find in modern hospitals.
Two of the “senior” faculty members – Lisa Price and Starr McNally – have underwritten two of the three beds in the Nursing program’s “sim lab.” Here, higher-level nursing students will have the opportunity to work with very high-fidelity mannequins whose blood pressure, heart rates, and oxygen levels can fluctuate at the flick of an instructor’s fingers on the controls. Based on commands coming from the control room, these mannequins can cough, cry, moan, bleed, and open and close their eyes. Students can set them up for IVs, take blood samples, hook them up to monitors, administer oxygen – all simulating an actual patient care experience.
The new facilities and up-to-date equipment are especially appreciated by the Ivy Tech faculty members after all the challenges they’ve faced in the last four years. The College’s healthcare education facilities, then located at Inventrek, were destroyed by the August 2016 tornado that tore through south Kokomo. The Nursing program was housed in temporary facilities around the campus until the new Health Professions Center was completed last year.
“Our faculty really stepped up as we quickly put together temporary facilities after the tornado,” said Dean McCurdy, chancellor of Ivy Tech Kokomo. “Because of the faculty’s dedication then, our students continued to receive quality education. Now, with our new Health Professions Center – and equipment these faculty members have supported with their donations, our students will benefit for years to come.”
The chancellor also noted that hospital beds in the Nursing labs have also been funded by Nancy Heckard Rhodes, a retired Logansport nurse who has been a long-time supporter of Ivy Tech and is a member of the Ivy Tech Foundation Board of Directors, and Marian Henry, a retired dean of Nursing at Ivy Tech Kokomo. Donors are being sought to underwrite six additional beds.
For more information on the $43 million Kokomo Campus transformation and the campaign to raise $3 million in local support, contact Kelly Karickhoff, executive director of resource development for Ivy Tech Kokomo, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 765-252-5501 or go to the campaign website at ivytech.edu/kokomotransformation .
Why they give
For Lisa Price, an associate professor in Ivy Tech Kokomo’s Nursing Program, the choice to make a gift to #THETIMEISNOW campaign came from her belief in Ivy Tech’s mission of expanding opportunities for individuals and serving our communities. She said it was a way to honor her parents, Linzie and Faye Price, who helped make the donation possible.
“My mother was so proud when she found out I was ‘adjunct’ teaching. She died before I became a full-time professor,” said Price, who has been a nurse for 33 years and has been with the College for more than 20 years. “The impact of this new sim lab on our students’ learning opportunities is going to be huge and I am so happy to be able to help that along.”
Starr McNally’s career in nursing began 26 years ago when she earned a certificate from Ivy Tech’s Practical Nursing program, a member of the Kokomo program’s second graduating class in 1995. For eight years, she served as a licensed practical nurse, gradually concluding that, because of her certification, she was doing much of the work of a registered nurse at much lower pay. Her love of education kicked in – first associate and bachelor’s degrees at Indiana University Kokomo and, when the idea of teaching was planted by the head of Ivy Tech’s Nursing program, going on to earn her master’s degree in nursing at IUPUI. Starr returned to her Ivy Tech alma mater as an adjunct instructor in 2005, moving into a full-time professorship in 2007 and now serving as chair of the Department of Nursing.
McNally is honoring nursing students with the naming of a bed in the program’s “sim lab.”
“I want future nurses to be as successful as they can be,” she said. “Providing simulation labs will do that.”
Brian Arwood, Katie Douglass, and Lacy Kiel are all honoring their children with their donations.
Arwood said he came to Kokomo two years ago with a desire to put down roots and invest in the community – and his donation to the Ivy Tech Kokomo Campus Transformation project is one way to meet that goal. Along with his position as an instructor in the Ivy Tech nursing program, he works as a psychiatric nurse at Community Howard Regional Health’s inpatient behavioral health unit, oversees volunteers and the mobile care unit, and volunteers for the Red Cross. He’s also a student at Purdue University, working on his doctorate in Nursing Practice to become a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner.
The bed he funded is being named in honor of Arwood and wife Meredith Wagner’s four children: Molly, Mina, Illy, Rue, and their fifth child – due this August. “I always try to put my kids first,” Arwood said. “I want them to have a reference point, a connection. I know this will mean more to them in the future but it’s one way to share my commitment to teaching and philanthropy.”
For Lacy Kiel, who also works in the Riverview Hospital intensive care unit and previously worked for the St. Vincent Heart Center and taught for Marian University’s accelerated bachelor’s degree in nursing program, donating to support the new Nursing lab as important. “This Nursing lab is where students get their first experiences in nursing school. Often, it’s their first contact with a nursing instructor,” Lacy said. “It’s wonderful to have this great new facility to help students build a strong foundation.”
Kiel, who joined the Ivy Tech faculty in 2017, is dedicating her donation to daughter Isabelle.
Starting her third year at Ivy Tech, faculty member Katie Douglass brings a range of experiences to her job as a nursing faculty member. Katie came later to nursing; she earned a degree in English, aiming to be a lawyer, before she realized what she really wanted to do. Before coming to Ivy Tech, Douglass was a clinical educator at IU Health in Lafayette and served as a clinical instructor at the St. Elizabeth School of Nursing. She currently also works as needed as a house supervisor, supervising the nursing staffs throughout all areas of Parkview Hospital in Wabash.
“I was finishing up my bachelor’s degree at IUK when they were finishing their sim lab,” Douglass said. “I remember thinking ‘I wish I’d had this from the beginning.’ Being able to help provide our students with that experience really means a lot to me.”
Douglass is honoring her daughter Wren and son Will, expected in June, in naming the bed she funded.