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REACH U2 students gain valuable insights into patient safety and care

six students prepare a mannequin in the College of Nursing Simulation Center


The University of Utah Health is hosting six undergraduate students from North Carolina A&T State University from May 27 to August 7, 2024, as part of the REACH U2 program. REACH U2 is an intensive 10-week summer research experience that provides students from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in North Carolina with the opportunity to work under the mentorship of University of Utah faculty members. The goal of the program is to prepare participants for enrolling in competitive graduate programs by giving them hands-on research experience in disciplines at the intersection of health disparities and biomedical research, including cancer research, public health, and bioinformatics.

On June 3, the REACH U2 students had the chance to participate in activities at the University of Utah's College of Nursing Simulation Center. The college’s Simulation Center is an innovative and high-tech hub for experiential learning, offering a clinical setting where health care professionals can actively apply their knowledge in simulation, observation, and debriefing of real-life patient scenarios. The aim is to improve patient safety and care through immersive training experiences.

In the basic preparation studio, the REACH U2 students practiced a variety of tasks using mannequins and task trainer models, including starting IVs and wound care. This space also has the technology and infrastructure to deliver didactic content, allowing students to learn about and observe procedures before practicing them hands-on. As the students progress, their learning becomes more complex, with the incorporation of psycho-social, communication, and critical thinking skills. Various levels of mannequins and simulators are used to add realism and complexity to the learning experiences, such as the ability to program heart and lung sounds in the "patients" to enable students to listen and monitor appropriate anatomical locations.

Through this immersive simulation experience, the REACH U2 students had the opportunity to gain valuable insights into patient safety and care, as well as develop essential clinical skills. This aligns with the overarching goal of the REACH U2 program, which is to prepare participants for successful futures in competitive graduate programs and, ultimately, careers in the health care and biomedical research fields. By providing these students with access to state-of-the-art facilities and mentorship from experienced University of Utah faculty, the program aims to foster their academic and professional development, contributing to a more diverse and inclusive health care workforce.

More information about REACH U2—including projects, scholars, and mentors—can be found on the program’s page.

Guillermo Cuevas, MSF

Jun 11, 2024 8:14 AM