EDITOR’S NOTE: This story is featured in the Spring 2024 edition of The Tartan magazine. Read more from The Tartan at alma.edu/tartan.

A new laboratory in the Dow Science Center allows nursing students to hone their skills without having to travel off campus.

The lab, which opened this past September, features two “mid-fidelity,” Gaumard-brand manikins and arms for practicing IV infusion. It’s set up with real hospital beds, curtains and equipment to mimic what students would experience in the hospital.

With the new lab, students are able to practice head-to-toe assessments as well as practice almost any skill they would need as new nurses. In addition to being able to practice their skills, students can complete clinical judgment assignments in the lab as part of their nursing courses.

The college still maintains a relationship with MyMichigan Medical Center Gratiot, where nursing students ordinarily practice their skills. However, students say, having an on-campus option makes practice much more convenient for them.

“I’m a very hands-on learner and I like to go to the hospital to practice skills. But it takes a lot of coordination to get that done,” said Claire Williams, a senior nursing major. “I’m really grateful for the work that has gone in to getting this prepared for us.”

  • Read more about academics at Alma College; including the nursing, electrical engineering, computer engineering and physics programs.

Students in electrical engineering, computer engineering and physics classes have a place to work on their required projects, thanks to a new laboratory that has been installed at the Dow Science Center.

The lab features seven different stations; each containing a multimeter power source, function generator and oscilloscope. According to Associate Professor and Engineering Program Coordinator Victor Argueta-Diaz, these are the basic tools that professionals use to test and evaluate circuits — allowing students to hone their skills before entering graduate school or the workforce.

Two students can work at the seven stations simultaneously, Argueta-Diaz said, allowing for continued growth of the science and engineering majors. In addition to the electronics, the lab features several round tables and a large screen that help students collaborate on projects.

“We needed something like this,” Argueta-Diaz said. “Students no longer have to carry their equipment around — they can keep it here whenever they need it. It’s open for them to use at any time.”