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SDSU nursing simulation director honored

Alyssa Zweifel
Alyssa Zweifel

Alyssa Zweifel, healthcare simulation center director for the College of Nursing at South Dakota State University, was honored by her peers at the International Nursing Association for Clinical Simulation and Learning Conference in Milwaukee June 17.

Zweifel, an assistant professor, received one of two Outstanding Research Poster Awards for work she shared that was based on her doctoral dissertation.

In her research, she wanted to determine if students thought they learned better by taking an active role in simulation activities or by being an observer. Based on data collected from 193 SDSU nursing students, there was no significant difference in the students’ assessment of the skills they were learning regardless of their role in the simulation activity, Zweifel said.

Zweifel’s poster was among 45 on display at the June 15-18 conference. The association is an international organization that is dedicated to advancing the science of healthcare simulation.

Her research was done in fall 2020 and spring 2021 in advance of receiving her doctorate in nursing education from SDSU in spring 2021. Zweifel has directed the college’s simulation lab since 2021 and was assistant director in 2019-2021.

In addition to her poster presentation, Zweifel and James Smith, a December 2021 SDSU mechanical engineering graduate, gave a podium presentation on “A Collaborative Approach to Enhance Realism in an Emergency-Focused Healthcare Simulation.” They discussed collaborative projects between engineering and nursing colleges.

Smith, Eric Beehler and Maddie Mingo produced an alpha version of a device for a simulation mannequin that would mimic a patient’s reaction to receiving a shock from a defibrillator. Another group of students has since produced a beta version.

“We talked briefly about the defibrillator project but really focused on how these collaborations can be win-win for senior engineering students to have a project and nursing to have a cost-effective equipment made that enhances realism in our simulation center,” Zweifel said.