Role-playing an anxious daughter by the bedside of her sick mother, senior nursing major Esther Ghale participated in a simulated patient interaction with two peers and a vomiting mannikin in the newly renovated Lisa Haverstick Simulation Lab at Eastern Mennonite University.
The audience included nursing alumni, some fresh from shifts at area hospitals, and other supporters and donors. Thus the hushed silence as they watched the very human drama around the hospital bed, in which patient, relatives and nurses all try to gather and filter information, make clinical decisions, process anxiety and build relationships.
The afternoon simulation, part of a continuing education program facilitated by Professors Melody Cash and Laura Yoder, showcased the lab’s new space and equipment. An early evening reception and dedication ceremony attended by approximately 60 alumni, donors and other supporters followed.
The afternoon simulation, part of a continuing education program for nurses, showcased the lab’s new space and equipment. An early evening reception and dedication ceremony attended by approximately 60 alumni, donors and other supporters followed.
More than $224,000 has been raised to support the lab expansion, which added more than 1,100 square feet of space. Several more beds and simulation equipment have enabled an increase in the annual number of nursing graduates from 48 to 64.
Alumni joining in the celebration represented the camaraderie and deep ties among the nursing department, from a 40-year veteran to several more recent grads. Reba Showalter Brunk ‘76 runs the New Moms Ask a Nurse support group at Sentara RMH Medical Center. Madelyn Arbaugh ‘13 and Michael Sumner ‘15 were just two of EMU’s many DAISY honorees working at Sentara RMH. Also present was Harold E. Huber, husband of Vida J. Huber ‘61, who chaired EMU’s nursing department from 1967-84 and was instrumental in the development and growth of the program. Emeritus professor Herb Swartz honored his late wife, Margaret, also a nurse, with his presence.
The nursing program’s “potent and attractive prescription” results in highly sought after graduates, 100 percent of whom have jobs upon completion of the program, said President Susan Schultz Huxman. “Superb clinical preparation, an exemplary first-time pass rate on the nursing board exams, and compassionate care modeled by faculty … Yes, the best nurses are highly competent, know how to give and receive agape love, and understand the profound spiritual gifts of presence and grace.”
The lab is an important space for not only learners and teachers, but also those who will be cared for and comforted in the future, she added. “Today we dedicate this space for teaching the art and science of nursing, a living laboratory that connects head, heart and hands and that connects faculty and students in the holy work of patient care.”
The lab is named in honor of Lisa Haverstick, a 1991 alumnus who worked at Lancaster General Hospital and at Medical Associates of Lancaster in Pennsylvania until her death from pancreatitis in 2004. The original lab space and equipment was funded through a combination of donations from her family and friends and a grant from Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield. The Lisa Haverstick Endowment Fund was also established to provide critical support for equipment replacement in the future.