Don A. And Ruth Buchholz Simulation Lab Provides Baylor University Nurses Hands-On Learning Opportunities

October 24, 2008

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Media Contact: Frank Raczkiewicz, (254) 710-1964

Dallas, Texas (Oct. 24, 2008)- The Baylor family welcomed the "Sim-Family" of high-fidelity patient simulators at the open house and dedication ceremony of the Don A. and Ruth Buchholz Simulation Lab at Baylor University's Louise Herrington School of Nursing on Oct. 15.

"The generosity of more than 70 donors brought this important hands-on learning tool to Baylor University nursing students. To our lead donors, Don and Ruth Buchholz, thank you for lending your name to our simulation lab and for your generous gift," said Baylor Interim President David E. Garland, who also serves as dean of George W. Truett Theological Seminary. "I'm proud that the Baylor family brought the 'Sim-Family' to reality and made this state-of-the art lab possible."

The simulator "manikins" are so realistic that they have pulses and breathe, functions that can be controlled and changed by instructors, thus complicating a simulation. Mother "Noelle" and newborn "Baby Hal" teach students about birthing scenarios and delivery methods. "John Houser," the unit's eight-month-old, and "Sim-NewB," a newborn with an umbilical cord that can be assessed, cut and catheterized, offer students experience with caring for infants.

Baylor nursing students get a sample of working with average adult patients through "Sim-Man" and "Sim-Woman." Relying on their own nursing experiences as inspiration for programming the simulators with "real-life" scenarios, nursing faculty benefit from a lab where they can provide their students a safe environment to practice medical procedures and test their decision-making skills.

"Although Baylor nursing school has an incredible teaching faculty, their words can't describe what it's like to be taking care of a patient," said Ruth Burks, a May 2008 graduate of Baylor's Louise Herrington School of Nursing, who now is a registered nurse at Methodist Dallas Medical Center's Coronary Care/Medical Intensive Care unit. "The Buchholz Simulation Lab is an opportunity for nursing students to understand and experience unexpected situations that will occur in real-life situations. Baylor's nursing program is already great, but it will thrive all the more with this new piece of interactive learning."

Other key donors to the Buchholz Simulation Lab include Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Z. Ornelas of Tyler, Texas; John and Marie Chiles of Dallas; Mr. and Mrs. Harris Clark of Dallas; ExxonMobil Foundation; Baylor University Medical Center; John L. and Marilyn Leslie Bedwell of Norman, Okla.; Mr. and Mrs. Charles M. Chesnutt of Houston; Anita Collier Jones of Dallas; Bill and Clara Johnston of Midland, Texas; Dr. and Mrs. John B. Ross, V, of Longview, Texas and the Tom A. Harris Fund and the Katie Foundation Fund of Communities Foundation of Texas, Inc.

"The Buchholz Simulation Lab is one example of how we are meeting the demands in this changing industry. Through simulation technology, we are helping train the next generation of practitioners so that they are ready when called upon to lead in the field of health care," said Dr. Judy Lott, dean of Baylor's Louise Herrington School of Nursing. "But what we aren't changing is our Christian mission and emphasis on teaching. I am proud of the fine students we are educating at Baylor University, and I am confident that following graduation they will serve as compassionate leaders in the field."

The Don A. and Ruth Buchholz Simulation Lab promotes Baylor 2012 imperatives such as establishing an environment where learning can flourish, attracting and supporting a top-tier student body and providing outstanding academic facilities. The Don A. and Ruth Buchholz Simulation Lab ensures that Baylor students continue a tradition of excellence as they learn, lead and serve in the nursing vocation.

About Baylor Nursing
In 2009, Baylor University Louise Herrington School of Nursing will celebrate 100 years of preparing students to learn, lead and serve in the nursing vocation. The first bachelor of science in nursing degrees were awarded in 1954, establishing the school as one of the oldest baccalaureate nursing programs in the United States. In November 1999, the school was renamed the Louise Herrington School of Nursing after Louise Herrington Ornelas, co-founder of TCA Cable Inc. of Tyler and a 1992 Baylor University Alumna Honoris Causa, who made a significant gift to endow the school. Last year, Baylor graduates had a 96 percent licensure exam pass rate and a 100 percent certification rate,while U.S.News & World Report ranked the master's degree program in nursing among the top 75 programs in the country. Visit for more information.