St. Luke’s and Boise State have worked hand-in-hand for many years as two of Idaho’s largest entities, supporting one another in a multitude of ways.
That relationship has grown stronger lately, which both groups hope will prove to be even more beneficial in years to come.
In March, St. Luke’s donated 10 patient beds to use in Boise State’s School of Nursing’s simulation lab. And more equipment is on the way, from dozens of laptops to wheelchairs and thermometers.
“It’s been such a boon for us,” said Shelle Poole, divisional dean and an associate clinical professor at Boise State. “We’ve reimagined our labs and St. Luke’s has done so much to help with that.”
Moving forward, St. Luke’s and Boise State are sharing a list of needs for the nursing program of all sorts of medical equipment that can be donated.
It sounds simple, but it took a full team effort to make it happen.
As a state university, Boise State previously purchased equipment at retail prices or via auction. St. Luke’s had surplus equipment and Boise State had a need.
“It’s a pretty wonderful thing where we can help a strategic partner of ours and it won’t just sit in a warehouse somewhere,” said Scott Pyrah, St. Luke’s Integrated Health Technology director of inpatient applications. “Building services let us know what items may be available, we connected with our sustainability team on how to make something like this happen and legal made sure the agreements were there.”
For the 400 on-campus nursing students, getting access to better equipment to simulate a hospital floor environment will help prepare them for their careers, and in turn, improve potential St. Luke’s candidates.“Our team and (St. Luke’s) — everyone is excited and looking ahead — everyone is committed,” Poole said. “We have a shortage out there and support like this can make educating nurses easier.”
Poole said revamping the simulation labs has been just one part of some major changes in recent times for Boise State nursing students. The school has worked closely with St. Luke’s to work on new clinical models designed by nurses for nurses and has built their own remote patient monitoring database, translation services, telehealth capabilities and developed a behavioral health unit last November.
“It has been fun to see students thrive in that environment,” Poole said. “And we have had tremendous success having the students be prepared. St. Luke’s has taken advantage, they hired 16 of them during our last job fair.”
And the partnership continues to be strong.
Reid Stephan, St. Luke’s vice president and chief information officer, recently helped connect Boise State to Epic, the health care software used by St. Luke’s and other health systems for medical records. St. Luke’s director of clinical learning Reuben Dekastle helped develop QR codes that can be scanned by St. Luke’s personnel to see what students in clinical placements have learned or need to learn.
Poole said St. Luke’s Nampa chief operating officer/chief nursing officer Misty Robertson, a Boise State graduate herself, has been active, placing 20 students recently into clinical environments to learn up close.
Plus, the simulation lab and other units at Boise State’s School of Nursing will be well-stocked.“Now we’ve got the process, it just took a little while to build the foundation, what agreements do we need … and finally got a donation done — yay!,” Pyrah said with a laugh. “Now that we have that figured out, now it’s, ‘Does Boise State need something? OK, here’s the steps to follow to make it happen.’”
Dave Southorn works in the Communications and Marketing department at St. Luke's.