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Union University Center for Excellence in Health Care Practice
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FedEx flight simulation aids healthcare simulation research

Union University nursing professors Brian Foster (left) and Brad Harrell in the flight simulation at FedEx.
Union University nursing professors Brian Foster (left) and Brad Harrell in the flight simulation at FedEx.

It's not every day that an anesthesiologist and a nurse practitioner fly an aircraft, but Union University nursing professors Brian Foster and Brad Harrell found themselves doing just that recently.

But the men were flying a simulator at the FedEx Corp. Air Operations Training Center in Memphis and not a real aircraft. The FedEx center has multi-million-dollar simulators that carefully emulate true flight, so the professors felt as if they were truly in the air, Foster said.

It wasn't simply a joy ride. The men visited the training center to learn simulator best practices. Foster, assistant professor of nursing, is working on his Doctor of Nursing Practice from Union, seeking to advance the effective use of healthcare simulators.

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Center for Excellence in Health Care Practice partners with JCM

Tim Smith, executive director of the Center for Excellence in Health Care Practice, instructs a group of students from Jackson Central-Merry Academy of Medical Technology. (Photo by Morris Abernathy)
Tim Smith, executive director of the Center for Excellence in Health Care Practice, instructs a group of students from Jackson Central-Merry Academy of Medical Technology. (Photo by Morris Abernathy)

Ten students from Jackson Central-Merry Academy of Medical Technology became the first group to participate in a new program which introduces students to the nursing profession, thanks to a recent partnership between the high school and Union University's Center for Excellence in Health Care Practice.

Every Friday for 14 weeks this winter and spring, the small group of junior and senior students visit Union's campus to gain practical nursing skills at the Center for Excellence in Health Care Practice, located in Providence Hall.

Tim Smith, dean of the School of Nursing and executive director of the Center for Excellence in Health Care Practice, said many of the students entered the program aspiring to be nursing assistants. After only a few weeks of doing assignments in the hospital simulation rooms at Union, however, many decided they want to apply the extra time, money and effort required to be registered nurses.

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