My name is Beth Haas, and I’m the Director of the Clinical Simulation Institute (a.k.a. the “simulation labs”). I started at Goldfarb School of Nursing at Barnes-Jewish College in the summer of 2007, and have overseen the expansion of our programs, our simulation labs, and our simulation team from the time the new building was going up. My background is not in nursing, so I feel very fortunate to be a part of this program. My background is in health administration (bachelor’s degree from Truman State University), and I hold a master’s in public health (Saint Louis University), with a concentration in behavior science and health education. I felt that this opportunity would utilize my educational background in a different and creative way. I’m particularly interested in both research and evaluation, and am working on my PhD in public health studies (concentration in behavior science and health education) to strengthen these skills.
So – let’s start at the beginning (for me, anyway). I started at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in 2006 in the Department of Professional Practice. I heard about the changes that were underway at the nursing school, and so applied for the director position at the college. When I was hired in the summer of 2007, our programs were still being housed in the nursing school on Kingshighway Blvd. We had a skills lab and an assessment lab, and started with myself and one other team member (Tina Ahearn). During the late summer/early fall of 2007, Tina and I began our training in simulation, and also worked hard to set up the six simulation labs in the new building (which opened January of 2008). I’m sure Tina or another facilitator (Deb Sutter or Gale Bunt) will be guest-blogging in the future, so I’ll leave it to them to tell you about their role.
When we opened our new doors in January of 2008, it was both exciting and overwhelming. Our administration and organization had invested time, money and resources into the new building, and into our Institute. Our team was up for the challenge, and never thought about anything other than “we’re going to make this work,” and “we’re going to be among the best.”
Our current building is unlike any other simulation center in the nation – and we are lucky that ours is dedicated to nursing alone! We have 10,500 square feet of simulation learning space that covers six labs and two exam rooms. Our faculty can speak to how they use simulation in their classes, but I’m here to tell you that it’s an exciting technology, and I look forward to telling you more about it in the future!