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How CVCC Prepares the Nurses of Tomorrow
She believed that people would treat her mom differently if they had an idea of what she was going through.

This led to Pattie's development of the Sensory Deprivation Lab within the School of Nursing curriculum.

Set in a lab classroom, students experience firsthand what aging patients are going through when performing everyday tasks. Three students at a time go through the lab. Each has his or her senses distorted in some way...whether it's wearing glasses smeared with Vaseline to mimic cataracts, gloves or shoes with rice or beans in them to feel the discomfort of arthritis, ear muffs to depict hearing loss, or the ability to use only one arm.

Set up like a studio apartment, the students enter the lab and are instructed to choose three of 15 everyday tasks (such as set the table for dinner, write a grocer list, or hang up clothing) and accomplish them while in an impaired state.

"Struggling with what it's like to be a senior patient with impairment helps nurses interact with them on a closer level," says Pattie. "The nurses of today and tomorrow should communicate with patients at their own levels, with understanding for better cooperation, and ultimately, the best level of care. They should meet the patient where the patient is at."

This pioneering approach to teaching has helped to broaden the scope of educating more than 200 nurses at CVCC over the past three years. In addition to full-time nursing students, high school juniors and seniors studying to earn their State Tested Nursing Assistant Certificate, as well as all of the teachers within the school and many of the administrators, have gone through the lab.

CVCC's School of Nursing is approved by the Ohio Board of Nursing and the Ohio Board of Regents and is accredited by the Counsel on Occupational Education. The full-time program runs August through June, and the part-time program begins in September and runs for 18 months. Students who complete these programs receive a certificate in practical nursing and are eligible to sit for the NCLEX-PN state board examination. Following successful completion, the Board of Nursing issues a license to practice as a practical nurse.

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Brecksville, OH 44141
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