Simulation Coordinator/Instructor Jason Thrift, MS, RN
MS in Nursing Education, Clemson University
BS in Nursing, Clemson University
You can call him the Simulation Master.
Jason Thrift manages the School of Nursing's simulation and cadaver labs, which students use to practice clinical techniques and better understand the human body.
In addition to being an RN for a decade, Thrift worked as a computer consultant in nursing classes at Clemson University and taught hospital staff the ins and outs of using computer applications to document care at AnMed Health Medical Center. And if having substantial expertise in nursing and informatics was not enough, Thrift, a sci-fi novelist and blogger, brings compelling imagination to his job of simulation coordinator and instructor.
Thrift maintains the human simulator equipment in the nursing school's five simulation rooms. There, students practice a breadth of patient care scenarios, which could range from a woman giving birth to a man having a heart attack, for example. Thrift also develops policies and procedures for the simulation and cadaver labs.
Simulations, a vital part of nursing education, prepare students for everyday experiences and emergencies they may encounter on the job. Simulation rooms, says Thrift, allow students to practice in a safe environment that can build their confidence in implementing care. His work for both the simulation and cadaver labs facilitates the nursing school's goal of using the cadaver lab to illustrate patient conditions. For example, before or after students experience a simulation of congestive heart failure, the professor can use a cadaver to explain the condition's anatomical and physiological effects in the heart and body.
Thrift earned a bachelor of science in nursing at Clemson University and served as a RN in the orthopedic unit at AnMed Health Medical Center. He later earned a master's degree in nursing education from Clemson. Thrift's most recent work as a nursing informatics specialist exposed him to using computers in the daily care of patients—from documenting admission information and medication histories to helping nurses select their shifts.
In addition to being skilled in nursing informatics, Thrift a gifted writer, has served as a regular, featured blogger on RealityRN.com, a website where nurses share experiences, advice, and information. Thrift also has published three, Christian-themed, science fiction novels and writes an ongoing story on a blog. More than 700 hundred copies of his books have been sold and are available on Amazon.com.
Thrift's creativity as a writer prepared him to design simulations in that both stories and simulations are hypothetical events, he says. "To be an effective simulation specialist you need to be creative and think outside the box sometimes," he says. "There are lots of hypotheticals that go into writing, basing your stories off of real-life experiences in some cases." According to Thrift, rooting stories and simulations in real situations helps readers and students relate to the story or simulation.
When he's not managing the labs, teaching, or writing, Thrift enjoys spending time with his family, sports, and the outdoors. He and his wife Leslie live in Anderson, South Carolina, and have two young children and twin dogs.
See Simulation Coordinator/Instructor Jason Thrift's curriculum vitae.
Read one of Thrift's blogs about nursing.