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SIC Hosts Interactive Workshop for Nurses Regarding Mental Health

April 30, 2013

This spring, SIC hosted an interactive simulation workshop for nurses in need of affordable continuing education credits to stay current in their profession. 

The workshop was called, “Hearing Voices that are Distressing.” The unique training and simulation experience allows the participants the opportunity to experience first-hand just one of the difficulties voice-hearers face every day. The workshop was intended to give an understanding of the day-to-day challenges that people with psychiatric disabilities face.

“We were very pleased with the attendance and interest shown in this interactive workshop,” said Amy Murphy, interim director of nursing and allied health at SIC.  “Every area of healthcare encounters patients with mental health diagnoses. Workshops, such as this one, enhance the knowledge and skills necessary to provide appropriate care.”

During the simulation experience, participants listened to distressing voices through headphones while completing a series of tasks such as taking a mental status exam in a mock psychiatric office and completing an online application. The participants were able to experience first-hand how difficult simple tasks can be when they are also hearing these distressing voices.

“We had a great response from the participants. The feedback received indicated the participants enjoyed the interactive experience and felt they would be able to apply what they learned in their work settings,” said Robin Russell, SIC nursing instructor and workshop speaker.  “Many voiced they were leaving with a better understanding and much more empathy toward those who hear distressing voices.”

This is the second in a series of workshops hosted by the college.  Southeastern plans to host more low-cost workshops on timely and relevant topics directed at providing cutting-edge information to nurses in the area, while helping them receive the continuing education units they need. 

Murphy says the organizers are actively pursuing a topic regarding the origin and impact of synthetic drugs, as well as a broad base of other topics.   Input from area health professionals on topics of interest are welcome and encouraged.  For information, to make a topic recommendation or to be notified of upcoming continuing education courses, health care professionals should call Murphy at 618-252-5400, ext. 2330.

The Southeastern Illinois College nursing program began in 1955 with a class of 13 students in what is now Harrisburg High School.  It was the only program of its kind in Illinois, south of St. Louis, at that time.  Since then, it has grown to approximately 100 students each year and includes online and traditional classes, as well as full- and part-time options. For more information, contact Amy Murphy, interim director of nursing and allied health at 618-252-5400, ext. 2330 or nursing@sic.edu, or visit www.sic.edu/nursing.

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