Thursday, April 21, 2016

Reynolds Cares with Marlon Johnson, Student Records Specialist

In an effort to encourage more Reynolds employees to get involved in volunteering and to highlight some of the valuable community service efforts that our employees are already engaged in, the Reynolds LEADS team recently interviewed several Reynolds employees about their experience as volunteers in the local community. This is the fourth and final installment of the "Reynolds Cares" series.

Q: Can you describe your volunteer effort(s)? What group do you serve? What’s their mission? What kinds of things do volunteers do for this group?

MJ: I volunteer for Big Brothers/Big Sisters, a group that matches adults with children to be mentors/role models. There are two types of volunteering – you can meet individually with your Little Brother/Sister for lunch at their school, or you can do individual home-based activities outside of school (evenings/weekends). You always meet individually with your little so that there’s a stronger relationship. I have done both in the past, but right now I am a lunchtime volunteer.

Right now I am paired with a kindergartener. The elementary school I volunteer at has special areas set up for the pairs to meet. There’s a separate area with tables for us to eat at and games we can play. My little brother especially likes Connect Four. On nice days we can go outside after we eat and play football or soccer.

I also do more general volunteering, especially for the local Bone Marrow drive.

Q: How or why did you get involved in volunteering?

MJ: I am the service coordinator for my fraternity in grad school and that started my interest in giving back to the community. There’s a real need for role models for younger children especially. They can see that the average person gives back and together you can do something positive. I also want to help start a culture of service in my community and at Reynolds.

Q: How long have you been involved?  How much time do you devote to volunteering?

MJ:  I’ve been working specifically with Big Brothers/Sisters for the past 2 years, but overall I have been volunteering with different groups for 5 or 6 years. I devote about 3 hours per week to volunteering – 2 hours for Big Brothers and 1 hour for other volunteering.

Q: Do your volunteer efforts impact your job at Reynolds?

MJ: I occasionally use volunteer leave for volunteer events, but for Big Brothers I can just go during my lunch hour. 

Q: Do you have any tips for others who want to get involved?

MJ:  I can give anyone who’s interested the contact information for Big Brothers. You can start as a lunch buddy because it’s not a huge time commitment and it will show you if it’s a good fit. And be patient – it takes time to build a good relationship.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Sim Lab gives nursing students an opportunity to apply classroom skills in realistic clinical scenarios

Would the patient pull through? With his wife struggling to maintain her composure and the patient’s condition worsening, there was little time for uncertainty. Fortunately, there was room for error. The new Simulation Lab (SIM lab) on the Fourth Floor at the Downtown Campus uses high-fidelity technology and manikins (“dummies”) to give Nursing students an opportunity to apply classroom skills in realistic clinical scenarios.

(Seated in red coat) Mary Ballou Reynolds Williams, widow of J. Sargeant Reynolds, looks on in suspense as Nursing students perform life-saving measures during the simulation.

“Clinical confidence is so important,” says David, a Reynolds Nursing student. “I want to convey competence to all of my future patients. The new simulation lab helped to instill that in a lowered stress, comfortable environment totally conducive to learning and immediate feedback.”

As in a hospital setting, the condition of a simulated patient changes based upon student actions and treatment.  Because of this, new high fidelity simulation that mimics the most realistic experience of a human allows students to understand the consequences of a plan of action or treatment in a safe setting.

Dr. Christi Blottner, Professor of Nursing at Reynolds, believes healthcare delivery is a “team sport.” Simulation helps students apply skills and collaborate as a group in a safe learning environment. 

Outfitting the SIM Lab was made possible through financial donations to the J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College Educational Foundation. Supporters of the project and Nursing scholarship donors were invited to witness a simulation. Playing the roles of a team of healthcare professionals, students brought their patient back from the brink, as donors breathed a sigh of relief and gave them a rousing round of applause at the end of the exercise.