Sydney Brummel – Staff Writer
Dordt University welcomed students this semester with not only a changed name but also a recent addition to the campus. As students and faculty members walk to their classes every day, the sight of the long-awaited nursing building—curved, grey, and gleaming—greets them.
After the nursing curriculum transitioned from collaborating with St. Luke’s College (Sioux City, IA) to a Dordt based program a year ago, the proposal for the construction of this addition became a reality.
“This building was part of the curricular revision,” said Deb Bomgaars, nursing professor and chair of the department.
Along with her colleagues, Bomgaars significantly contributed to the planning of the new space. Apart from offices for each nursing professor, the department hoped for facilities that “can provide our students with a lot of good experiences, so that they can leave Dordt fairly confident of their skills.”
A quick tour of the nursing building reveals the fulfillment of those desires. With a pristine simulation suite, a high-ceilinged, eight-bed lab complete with simulation mannequins, and both clean and dirty utility rooms, nursing students are sure to have countless opportunities to put their studies into practice. The whole nursing department is optimistic for the future of their program.
“I think that it’s going to make learning easier for us,” said Carlie Hoekstra, a sophomore nursing major. “We are going to be able to see what the instructor is trying to show us, making it more hands-on.”
Inside the nursing facilities is a diverse collection of simulation material. If a student wants to practice inserting an IV, realistic arm models are available. Or, if they need to rehearse taking a patient’s blood pressure, sphygmomanometers line the lab’s walls. Students may even practice retrieving medication for their patients, with an imitation of a Pyxis Medication Management unit inside the clean utility room.
The increased opportunity to practice necessary nursing skills is one of Hoekstra’s favorite features of the addition. “Being able to practice on the simulation bodies…is what we need,” said Hoekstra. “You can correct your mistakes over and over again without harming anybody.”
While nursing majors are certainly first in line to use the resources within the building, students of other fields can benefit as well. With the proper simulations, students studying Psychology, Special Education, or any health-care profession can profit from the nursing department’s materials.
The former nursing building, which was the old President’s house at the northwest corner of campus, will not be missed. Both Dr. Bomgaars and Hoekstra stated that the new building’s abundant space is well-worth the wait.
“God has led this process, and has been very good to us,” said Bomgaars. “The whole Dordt administration and Board of Trustees has been very supportive of this whole thing.”