Why are Labs so Important in Health Care Degree Programs?
Jul 9, 2019
At Concorde Career Colleges, our mission is to prepare committed students for successful employment in a rewarding health care profession through high-caliber training, real-world experience and student-centered support.
But what is high-caliber training? How do we achieve that regularly and to the highest standards? One, of many, ways we do that is by integrating simulated laboratory situations in our various programs. Whether you're working toward becoming a dental hygienist or looking to bridge your LVN experience to an associates in nursing, you'll encounter labs.
WHAT'S THE IDEA BEHIND LABS?
"A laboratory component is necessary for a full rounded student learning experience," says April Rahe, Academic Dean at Concorde's Kansas City, Mo campus. "This type of learning allows students to first understand the knowledge base and theory, then apply them to real-life situations. A controlled, instructor-driven environment helps facilitate learning by practicing before going into a real-life clinical setting."
That's the beauty of learning in a lab. We realize that adult learning, andragogy, is centered on information being relevancy-oriented, practical and collaborative. Labs, in essence, do just that.
HOW DO LABS PREPARE ME FOR THE REAL WORK?
"Lab time gives the students the opportunity to develop the confidence in their skills, so those skills can be transferred to the patient setting," noted Tommy Rust, MEd., RRT, RCP, FAARC, Lead Program Director, Respiratory Therapy at our Dallas, Tx Campus.
"Our labs and facilities are unique, in that, they are built to simulate a true clinical experience through the setup and the materials needed to practice the skills. This allows them to develop the skills through practice, reflection, and readiness," said Rahe.
You can get a better idea of the set-ups of our labs in 360-degree tours in the lower right-hand corner of each of our program pages.
"Each student is required to check off on each competency by their peers and the laboratory instructor before they go to clinics," said Rust.
WILL LABS GIVE ME A LEG UP WITH EMPLOYERS?
Labs also prepare students to successfully transition into working for employers in an ever-changing world of health care!
"It is important in healthcare standards to stay up to speed with evidence-based practice, and this is integrated into the Lab skills. This is accomplished with the communication from our Program Advisory Committee (PAC) members, employers, and our instructors," said Rahe. "Through our PAC members, we are able to make sure we are staying within the industry standards and adjust to employer needs and recommendations."
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I FEEL OVERWHELMED BY LABS?
For current students who may feel a bit overwhelmed by labs, our subject matter experts advise to approach lab learning the same as if you were eating an elephant: One bit at a time.
Rust finds that reminding students they are still in the learning phase helps to re-center nervous energy. "Labs are structured to allow the student ample opportunity to practice each skill until it is mastered," he said. Open labs are also made available for individual tutoring or for self-practice."
Rahe echoes similar sentiments. "The lab aspect is learned in time, and never all at once. But by the end of the program, you will know your way around this lab and feel comfortable with all the materials."