Nursing opens simulation lab in Cushwa Hall

Nursing students Joellin Chance, left, and Jamie Stellmar work on Windsor, a medical manikin in the new John and Dorothy Masternick Nursing Simulation Laboratory in Cushwa Hall.

Nursing students Joellin Chance, left, and Jamie Stellmar work on Windsor, a medical manikin in the new John and Dorothy Masternick Nursing Simulation Laboratory in Cushwa Hall.

“Windsor” is a computerized wonder, a medical manikin that sweats, breathes, cries and has a heart beat, and it’s part of a new hands-on nursing simulation laboratory in the Department of Nursing.

The facility in Cushwa Hall was named the John and Dorothy Masternick Nursing Simulation Laboratory at a dedication ceremony last month to honor the couple whose gift made the lab possible.

“We are so grateful to the Masternicks for making this beautiful, high-tech lab available,” President Jim Tressel said. “It will provide invaluable learning opportunities for our student nurses.”

The late John Masternick, an attorney and a 1954 graduate of the Youngstown College of Law, founded Windsor House Inc. with his wife, Dorothy, in 1959. The family-owned business now operates 11 skilled care facilities and four assisted living communities across Northeast Ohio and Northwestern Pennsylvania that employ more than 1,500 people.

“My parents met at Youngstown College in 1947, so YSU was always near and dear to their hearts,” said John J. Masternick, the couple’s son and also an attorney, who serves as president and CEO of Windsor House Inc. “Our purpose with the gift was to help grow the nursing department at YSU and to help the nursing industry as a whole in our community.”

In addition to the gift for the new lab, the Masternicks have established a scholarship endowment for YSU nursing students, and the John and Dorothy Masternick Foundation has made contributions to the university so far totaling more than $50,000.

Windsor, valued at $85,000 and named after the Masternicks’ business, is one of several computerized manikins in the lab, all with programmable vital signs to offer nursing students a lifelike patient care experience. There’s also classroom and seminar space, and medical exam tables where students can practice their patient assessment skills.

Video cameras are mounted above the simulation manikins. Nursing faculty monitor the students from an observation room, where they can remotely adjust the manikins’ symptoms and vital signs to simulate a wide range of real world critical care scenarios.

“I proposed that we create a dedicated simulation lab space because our nursing lab was bursting at the seams,” said Nancy Wagner, associate professor and department chair. “This is a really versatile space that gives our students practical experience in a realistic and safe environment.”