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TCH, M State partner up on skills course

Tri-County Hospital nursing staff recently participated in a skills refresher class hosted at M State in Wadena Aug. 10-12. All nursing staff employed at TCH were required to attend. The class was a collaborative effort coordinated by Pat Johnson, RN educator at TCH, along with personnel from the M State nursing program, to provide continuing education opportunities for local nurses right here in Wadena.

"Continuing education is required in order to keep nurses educated in regard to updated research guidelines in nursing care," explained Sharyl Rinkel, TCH Inpatient Nursing Manager. "Nursing is a profession where education is never done; there are always new things to learn."

The M State nursing simulation and skills lab were used for the staff training. The simulation lab was recently built by Tammy Hale, M State nursing advisor. Simulation exercises were conducted using life-like mannequins that allow nurses to feel a pulse, hear breathing sounds, and analyze heart rhythms on an EKG monitor. Teams of nursing staff provided simulated patient care in pre-planned emergency scenarios. In addition, a realistic infant mannequin, funded by the TCH Foundation, was used as part of the nursing skills training.

"The benefits of coordinating with the local college are huge," Rinkel said. "It is a win-win situation for both entities involved and all comes back to one common goal -- to better serve the health care needs of local residents."