Oklahoma City - The Oklahoma Christian University community and guests celebrated the opening of the Dave & Shirlie Ellis Clinical Skills Lab and Simulation Center on the morning of Sept. 13, 2019.
The new 7,000 square feet of lab space, outfitted with the most advanced simulation equipment and healthcare supplies, gives OC nursing students experience other programs cannot offer.
“Students don’t always get a chance to experience each medical possibility in the hospital,” said Trevy Rauch, instructor of nursing. “Now, with five very life-like models, we can assure that each student has the opportunity to care for each kind of patient. We teach students to think critically and how to multitask. It’s more than just teaching skills. We want them to think like a nurse.”
Shirlie Ellis generously donated to the lab for OC’s School of Nursing, a program both her and Dave Ellis began supporting years ago, when their daughters were college aged. In 2013, the Ellises anonymously funded a scholarship to prepare a future leader and instructor of OC’s School of Nursing. Rauch was that scholarship recipient.
“My dad was a pharmacist and my mom was a teacher. They inspired me to choose a profession of helping other people,” Rauch said.
Rauch wanted to become a nurse and she wanted OC to be her alma mater, but, in 1992, both were not possible. OC had not yet launched the School of Nursing. Rauch attended OC before transferring to University of Oklahoma School of Nursing to pursue her profession.
Following an 18 year career as a pediatric nurse, Rauch seized an opportunity to return to OC as the skills lab coordinator. She dove into graduate school so that she could earn a master’s degree to become an educator.
Working full-time, raising children and pursuing a graduate degree proved to be a large financial responsibility and highly demanding. Things became a little easier when Rauch unexpectedly got a call saying a generous donor had agreed to pay for her schooling, later discovering that it had been her parents.
“I knew he (Dave Ellis) loved what I was doing because he would always ask me questions,” Rauch said. “Since I started working at OC, he would ask ‘how was your day?’ and ‘what’d you do today?’ He always wanted to know.”
Dave and Shirlie Ellis’ generosity continues. About two years ago, Shirlie Ellis gave an incredible gift to OC’s School of Nursing, allowing them to pursue the Clinical Skills Lab and Simulation Center.
This new simulation center enhances the students’ learning to ensure improved patient outcomes. With human patient simulators, nursing students can now practice for nearly any medical experience they may encounter.
Dave Ellis passed away peacefully in 2016, after battling cancer, but his legacy lives on through Rauch’s instrumental commitment to the OC School of Nursing. Nursing students, Bailey Williamson and Kalyn Rauch, will practice their skills in the new lab under their grandparents names along with the 194 other nursing students who are beginning a life of helping and healing.
Oklahoma Christian University is a higher learning community transforming lives for Christian faith, scholarship and service with a 14-to-one student teacher ratio. Driven by missions - not just majors, OC believes everyone has an important significance to this world. Located at 2501 East Memorial Road on a 200 acre residential campus, OC is home to ambitious progress and finally, Trevy Rauch.