Sara Beining, Practical Nurse Instructor, showcases simulation mannequin “Suzy” at Vantage open house. (Rebecca Violet/DHI Media)
Sara Beining, Practical Nurse Instructor, showcases simulation mannequin “Suzy” at Vantage open house. (Rebecca Violet/DHI Media)
VAN WERT — Vantage Career Center held an open house to showcase their new LPN to RN program, and the new equipment coming with it.

The program was made possible by funds from the Van Wert County Foundation. The funds contributed to a new lab for the program, complete with multiple beds, mannequins and one way mirrors for evaluation.

One of the mannequins is Suzy, a simulation mannequin, was showcased at the open house by Sara Beining, Practical Nurse Instructor.

Beining explained that Suzy is pre-programmed with different scenarios, such as COPD, pneumonia, heart failure or heart attack.

“I can wirelessly control her,” Beining said. “I can ad lib some things or I can go with the programs that are already set up for her, and the students will come in and they’ll have to figure out what’s wrong and how to treat her.”

The mannequin can be used to run different scenarios with students practicing different roles and group settings.

Jean Sullivan, Practical Nursing Program Administrator and Instructor, detailed the additional equipment the program was gaining.

And so we have surgical Sally is what we call her.

“We have a mannequin that allows the students to look in ears and see different things like infection, excess earwax, see the eardrum and what it looks like, the tympanic membranes,” Sullivan said.

In addition, the program will gain some otoscope wall units to look in the ears and extra chest dummies with central lines and ports to practice blood transfusions.

The Vantage program will also receive new IV pumps that match those currently in use at local facilities.

Sullivan told the Board of Nursing that the program would be 30 students max, but interest in the program is high.

Program admission is on a first come first serve basis, with applicants needing to complete an exam, drug test, background check, and physical to be accepted.

The program lasts 18 months, with its very first class set to start September 8.

Nursing has been a growing field at Vantage. Adult STNA Coordinator and Instructor Shirley Jarvis, BS, RN, has seen a dramatic increase in enrollment.

Right now, Jarvis has 15 students in her class. In August, she will have 21 students. She revealed that she usually only has six or eight students.

“Right now we’re very busy training all the aides that are coming off the COVID epidemic and, and trying to get their certification,” she explained.

According to Jarvis, nursing homes were understaffed during the COVID epidemic, leading the federal government to allow nursing homes to hire without having completed their training.

“So that’s the other part of the issue that we’re running extra classes for those students who were hired during the pandemic,” Jarvis said.