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Gift allows nursing students to answer the call


Li Loriz, director of the Brooks College of Health School of Nursing Flagship Program, likes to simulate real-life situations when educating nurses. An in-kind gift to The Power of Transformation campaign by a Jacksonville company brings her one step closer to fully immersing her students in a hands-on, on-the-job learning setting.


Intego Systems Inc. recently donated a fully functional nurse call system and integrated software valued at about $40,000 to the School of Nursing. Loriz said the system fits perfectly with the school’s nursing lab, which simulates a hospital ward right down to the mannequins who serve as patients.


“We want to create an environment as close as possible to what our nurses will encounter in the real world,” Loriz said.  “The nurse call system is an important component to assure timely communication between the patient and the health care provider.”


Loriz said the equipment will not only become part of the skill-based curriculum but will also be an element in leadership training for nurses.


“Our nurses are actually directing a team of health care providers,” she said. “It’s not only important for them to become familiar with the technology but to be able to use it to exercise their leadership in a hospital setting.”


The new system is not only present in the nursing lab but also has been wired in hallways and student lounges on the 3rd floor of the Brooks College of Health.  This will allow students to respond to calls outside of the lab setting.


Another important element of the system is the ability to differentiate between different types of calls. Health care providers summoned to the patient’s room will be able to assess the situation and quickly summon additional assistance if needed.


The system is actually the brainchild of Charles E. Bell Sr., who founded Intego Systems Inc. in 1983. Last year, he negotiated the sale of the Jacksonville company to Critical Alert Systems, LLC. He became an equity partner in the firm where he was appointed to the role of chief strategy and business development officer.


Bell, who has more than 35 years of experience in the hardware and software design, manufacturing and branding of health care products, is also a member of the Brooks College of Health’s Dean’s Council.


Although he praised nursing education, he said in some cases, emphasis has been placed on clinical training while technological training is sometimes lacking.


“We are building all this new technology to increase patient satisfaction and caregiver retention,” Bell said. “I’m very happy our new nurses are getting the needed training in this area.”


Several different configurations of call systems are in hospitals across the country. Each is critical to nursing success, Bell emphasized.


“We estimate about 40 percent of the calls are non-nursing related,” he said. “Without an effectively organized call system, a nurse can easily be overwhelmed.”


Bell said the Intego system, when centralized with all calls handled by a dedicated call attendant, aims to provide a response within 10 seconds and deliver service to the room in five to seven minutes.


That type of response may be drastically different from what many patients have experienced in the real world. However, Loriz is optimistic it can be achieved with the proper combination of highly trained nurses and state-of-the art technology. Part of the gift also involves training for the system so faculty and students realize all of its potential.


“We are grateful to Mr. Bell for this technology,” Loriz said. “I know our nurses will be grateful on their first day on the job when they assume responsibilities in a real hospital setting.”