Grant supports simulation lab

With support from the Foundation for the Future of Delaware County, Regional Medical Center in Manchester is establishing a simulation lab so nurses, paramedics, visiting students and new graduates can practice their skills on mannequins, simulating highly technical procedures and scenarios in a life-like environment. This allows staff to learn and debrief without the added stress of working on a real person in a real crisis.  

“The funding and support from the Foundation is a catalyst to jump-start this endeavor. It is an investment in our staff and the future care for patients at Regional Medical Center,” says Nurse Educator Lynne Majetic. 

The investment also benefits the community in alignment with the Foundation’s own goals of strengthening communities by focusing on issues that improve the quality of life. 

“Having highly skilled health care in a rural setting is vital to the survival and future growth of our community,” says Majetic. “By helping attract and retain quality staff and turn the curiosity of young people into a passion, we can lead them to a solid career in health care. We are extremely grateful to the Foundation for their vision and support!”

This access to quality care enhances the health and life expectancy of the people in the service area. It also allows people to experience pivotal moments like the birth of a child, the unexpected health crisis of a loved one, or even the passing of a family member or friend, within a familiar and supportive community. Access to skilled health care also attracts families and allows the elderly to stay in their hometowns for a lifetime. It attracts businesses who know healthcare is vital to a thriving community where workers will want to reside. 

Being able to give new nurses the support they need to build confidence and skillsets helps decrease turnover, and having training resources comparable to larger hospitals also helps staff stay on par with peers working in urban areas. 

“When talking with staff regarding education needs, they often express interest in hands-on practice for skills,” says Majetic. “When we announced the exciting news about receiving this grant to establish an on-site simulation lab, they were beyond excited.”

COVID-19 severely impacted the amount of hands-on education student nurses received, and the need for increased support of nurses has become more crucial after graduation. At the same time, medical staff were called to give higher levels of care than were traditionally offered at Regional Medical Center due to lack of available higher-level care beds. 

“Our staff rose to the significant challenge, under extremely stressful circumstances,” says Majetic. “In an ever-changing health care environment, we need a safe space for staff to learn and develop their skills to be prepared for the many possibilities that they may face in care giving for community members. After simulation, staff have expressed much higher levels of confidence to be able to handle emergent situations.”

The first mannequin to be purchased will be able to simulate emergent mother-baby situations in order to better equip staff in the hospital’s robust obstetrics program. Staff will practice responding to different scenarios during skills days, develop advanced skills, take part in guided discussions, and receive feedback that facilitates growth. Future plans include adding another adult mannequin to conduct simulations for emergency and surgical staff.

The Foundation offers many opportunities to improve quality of life by addressing an array of local issues. To learn more about how you can establish a fund or make a gift that impacts your community, contact Sheila Tjaden at 563-588-2700 or email