Career Development

Oglethorpe biology majors explore healthcare careers through simulation program

Oglethorpe University biology majors Kerin Mejia, Roxine Rattray and Camila Triana recently had the opportunity to participate in a shadowing experience at nearby Emory University Nursing Learning Center (ENLC).

ENLC is a state-of-the-art simulation and skills lab that provides students who are pursuing careers in healthcare with simulated real-life scenarios via interactive learning technology and immersive experiential learning environments. The program utilizes a large collection of simulators and structured practice sessions to help students attain core skill sets ranging from invasive clinical skills to communication and team building skills.

Oglethorpe Biology students at the Simulation Program at Emory Nursing Learning Center.

Oglethorpe biology students Kerin Mejia, Roxine Rattray and Camila Triana visit the Simulation Program at Emory Nursing Learning Center.

Oglethorpe’s Career Development and Global Education departments collaborated to make the visit possible for the students, with Peter Dye, assistant director of Community and Global Engagement, leading the initiative.

“The idea was to give students a chance to shadow a lab tech and get a sense of what a career in healthcare might look like, particularly for students with limited access to shadowing opportunities,” said Dye, who hopes to continue the visits once a semester.

“For all students, especially nursing students, gaining hands-on experience can be challenging,” explained Dr. Lisa Conley, director of Oglethorpe’s Career Development department. “Our students were able to shadow the simulation technicians and observe an intense simulation.”

The learning environment is created to be as authentic as possible, using a range of simulators, including real-life actors, manikins that can reproduce human vitals, and equipment that can generate a range of scenarios.

“The different manikins that we saw in the sim labs were very advanced and you could clearly see the benefits of having them,” said Roxine Rattray ’25, who is from Alpharetta, Ga. “Another aspect that stood out to me was the realistic events that could happen in the medical fields. I believe that kind of learning is essential for working in a high pace medical setting. This program encouraged me to continue my path to become a physician assistant.”

Camila Triana ’27, who is from Kennesaw, Ga., is also interested in pursuing a career as a physician assistant or physician.

“It was amazing to see how they are teaching in such an advanced manner,” said Triana, who is currently working as a paramedic while pursuing her degree at Oglethorpe. “I remember when I went through paramedic school, they didn’t have simulations or have us practice scenarios, they just told us we would learn once we got out in the field, which was terrible because that’s the worst way to learn.”

Triana specifically called out the value of debriefing meetings following simulations that depicted high trauma and induced stress and emotion.Oglethorpe students explore the Simulation Program at Emory Nursing Learning Center.

“I had never experienced that when going through paramedic school and remember how much I struggled to cope with very traumatic scenarios with patients because I was never taught how to deal with those emotions; we were just taught to get over it and move on,” she shared. “I think that’s such an amazing aspect to give students before they even start their healthcare careers.”

“The visit ignited my passion for healthcare even more because I want to be a part of all those advancements and even made me interested in a career in teaching other healthcare providers.”

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