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BUFFALO, NEW YORK; December 2, 2009-The Trocaire College McAuley School of Nursing and the Nursing Department at Erie County Medical Center have joined to participate in a Clinical Educational Service Partnership.  The project entails implementation of a Dedicated Education Unit (DEU).  This project represents the first such effort, involving a two-year college, to pilot the effectiveness of the Dedicated Education Unit in the Western New York healthcare community. 

A Dedicated Education Unit (DEU) is an inpatient clinical unit that is developed into an optimal teaching/learning environment.  Through the collaborative efforts of nurses, management, and faculty, the clinical setting is designed to provide students with a positive clinical learning environment that maximizes the achievement of student learning outcomes.  It utilizes proven teaching/learning strategies, and capitalizes on the expertise of both clinicians and faculty.  While the traditional approach of Trocaire's clinical experiences assigns one Trocaire nursing faculty member to supervise and provide clinical education to nine students, the DEU model allows specially trained ECMC nurses to share their clinical experience and knowledge with two Trocaire student nurses providing personalized attention and instruction.  "The DEU was a great learning experience," noted Trocaire nursing student Sena Ho.  "With the one nurse per two student ratio, I got a lot of hands-on experience that I probably would not have gotten otherwise." 

The objectives of the DEU are to: utilize staff nurses to assist in the clinical competence of undergraduate students; provide clinical education for an increased number of students; assist and support the professional development of staff nurses; and provide a prepared pool of potential resources for workforce recruitment.  "The Dedicated Education Unit (DEU) provides optimal teaching/learning through collaborative efforts of the ECMC nurses and Trocaire College nursing faculty, stated Mary Ann Deb, RN, MS, MBA, Trocaire PN/RN Clinical Coordinator.  "The DEU instructor provides students with a positive clinical learning environment and capitalizes on the expertise of ECMC nurses.  Each Trocaire nursing faculty member works directly with ECMC staff as a coach and facilitates the transfer of classroom learning to practice.  The DEU is built on the belief that the ECMC staff nurse's role is vital to the development of the Trocaire College nursing student's knowledge and skills." 

The Dedicated Education Unit concept draws from the experiences of Flinders University in South Australia where the DEU concept was developed.  The University of Portland School of Nursing piloted the model on the West Coast.  The model provides a framework for clinical instruction.  Thinking in terms of "it takes a village to raise new nurses," the DEU model establishes an environment which supports and fosters the clinical education of nursing students. 

The unit selected in which to implement this training program during the fall of 2009 is 7 South, ECMC's Trauma Step-down Unit.  "When I think of Trocaire graduates, I am reminded of "the four Cs of Nursing"-caring, compassion, competence, and consistency.  These mirror the ECMC Nursing Mission and Vision," explained Karen Ziemianski, RN, MS, Assistant Director of Nursing. 

The ECMC Corporation includes an advanced academic medical center (ECMC) with 550 inpatient beds and 136 skilled-nursing-home beds, on- and off-campus health centers, over 40 outpatient specialty care clinics and the Erie County Home, a skilled nursing facility.  ECMC is the regional center for trauma, burn care, rehabilitation and is a major teaching facility for the State University of New York at Buffalo.  Most ECMC physicians, dentists and pharmacists are dedicated faculty members of the University.  More Western New York residents are choosing ECMC for exceptional patient care and customer service provided as a result of its Culture of Care

NEWS CONTACT:  Joe Cirillo at 716-898-4300 or jcirillo@ecmc.edu


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