Jack Williams is a vocational nursing instructor mainly teaching in the nursing simulation laboratory at the Cleburne campus as well as clinical medical and surgical specialties at Hill Regional Hospital in Hillsboro. His focus is on all areas of gerontology to include immune and cardiovascular disorders. He has been an instructor at Hill College for two years.
Williams’ research will be at the Jules Undersea Lodge located 30 feet under the water in Key Largo, Fla. This undersea habitat is equipped with Wi-Fi and during the 48 hours that he will be saturation diving in the habitat, distance learning experience webinars will be conducted with vocational nursing students at the Hillsboro and Cleburne campuses where questions from the students will be fielded and answered in real-time. Also during these webinars the students will be presenting papers on diving and health-related subjects.
Hello everyone, I am Jack Williams; I am a Registered Nurse, and I teach Vocational Nursing at the Hill College Johnson County Campus in Cleburne, Texas. I was a recipient of a Faculty Grant from Hill College for faculty development.
I will be conducting distance learning webinars to Nursing and Echocardiology students on June 14 and 15, 2017. I will be residing in the Jules’ Undersea Lodge which is located in 30-feet of water in Key West, Florida, while my students will be at the Hillsboro and Johnson County campuses. The students will be presenting 15-minute PowerPoint presentations where we will be dicussing various diving disorders that might be encountered in a hospital or clinical setting.
Texas has almost 200 lakes and 400 miles of coast on the Gulf of Mexico. Also, the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex has International Airports that serve locations throughout the world. Nurses and Echocardiology Technicians may encounter clients that desire to dive or have returned from distant locations, and require clinical guidance or diagnostic procedures before and after SCUBA diving.
This grant will explore the capabilities of Hill College for distance learning and to provide the Nursing and Echocardiology students an extra skill set of post SCUBA diving medical disorders that would be valuable to local hospitals and clinics.
I will be posting blogs throushout the next two weeks leading up to my departure to Florida. Then I will do numerous blogs while residing in the Jules’ underwater habitat.
I look forward to you following me during this distance learning experience and adventure.
I arrived at the habitat at 12 noon and started setting up the audio visual equipment for the classroom webinar. The students gave their PowerPoint presentations and covered the material assigned to them. Chris, who is the director of the Marine lab dove over to the habitat to meet me and to coordinate the dive to the Lab later in the day. We finished the webinar at 330 pm to give the students time to wrap up and also for me to prepare to scuba dive over to the Marine Lab.
It has been a wonderful experience for me and I hope for the students as well.
I was directed to a small bucket where Chris had collected numerous marine life from the lagoon. Jules’ sits in a mangrove lagoon and Chris has been studying this one lagoon for the last 33 years. As we would be discussing the specimens, Chris would inform me of much of what he had learned, but in the same breath tell me that so much was still unknown, even after exploring the same area for over 30 years.
This Marine Lab is unique in the world as it is the only lab to have a clear sphere hanging below the habitat for observation. Most labs will have a viewport that is bubble shaped so that scientist can view more area than what a flat window would allow. However, this observation sphere is large enough for two persons to enter, from a hatch located in the floor of the lab, and sit and watch the marine life. As the sphere is lighted from the lab above, numerous fish are attracted and it is interesting to view the various types of marine life living around this structure.
After I was able to see and touch the specimens that Chris had prepared, I dove back to Jules’ lodge alone as my supper of pizza was ready. Chris also came over a while latter and we discussed the physics and history of man’s attempt a colonizing the ocean. One reference that we used was “Living and Working in the Sea” 2nd Edition, by James W. Miller, and Ian G Koblick.
This is a nice book to reference, as it gives the history of this habitat when is was being used in numerous expeditions since the 1980’s. Before it was labeled Jules’ Undersea Lodge and settled in its present location, this habitat was known as “La Chalupa.” It had a part in the “Man in the Sea” experiments and is still used as a research platform. Chris is very knowledgeable, and we discussed many dive expeditions and bounced several ideas off each other on where we would like to see man’s colonization of the oceans arrive to and what it would achieve. We both feel that there is much to learn from the oceans, and that man can and should colonize the depths of the waters to provide space for the growing populations, but also to learn and explore.
Chris came over to the habitat from the lab around 6 pm and we finished our dissertations of the future of mankind in the sea at midnight. We both found a kindred spirit in the love of the seas. Chris picked my brain on the medical aspects of diving and furthered my knowledge of mixed gasses in diving, while I gave him my experiences in clinical emergency medicine and in hyperbaric oxygen treatment. It was a very enjoyable learning experience for me.
I set-up the iPads and started streaming to my Facebook page. I checked with Katina Castro, RN and she stated that all was good with the streaming. When streaming, Joe and Jeff, with IT stated that there sometimes will be distortion with a device after 3-4 hours, so during the day, I change the iPads after 3 hours. At 1200 noon, Andy dove over to present me with a very nice fish sandwich from a local restaurant. I made a good choice to substitute potato salad for the French fries, as I figured the fries might reach me cold and limp. The potatoe salad was the right choice. If you ever find yourself in Key Largo, try to stop in at “The Hideout Restaurant” because they make great fish sandwiches.
At 1230, I connected to the Zoom page and prepared for the second, and last webinar. The students, again, prepared well structured PowerPoint presentations and we discussed how we would advise the potential client and patient who would present with each of the medical problems and if it was advisable to dive.
My plan for the rest of the day is to rest and read. It is very relaxing here in the habitat with no one else around. At 5 pm, Andy dove down to deliver my sandwich, I don’t know where it is from, but I’m sure it will be delicious. The sun is not shining so much now, so the porthole is not shining in as much as at high noon. Andy said that it had been a sunny day.
The students seemed to be in good spirits this afternoon. It has been an enjoyable experience to bring education to the classroom from such a remote destination. I have been involved in bringing distance education to students while I was in the college classroom and the students were away from the school. However, the technical tools to bring education to distance learners while the teacher is in an austere environment has been proven to me during this exercise.
After I leave the Habitat, I must stay on the surface for 24 hours before I fly out tomorrow on Saturday. This is to allow Nitrogen, that has been saturating my tissues for 48 hours, to dissipate and make it safe to fly without the risks of getting the bends.
There is a museum of diving, just down the road, that I plan to visit. I will get a few pictures to post. Then I’m off to the Sheraton Hotel for the night and get ready for the flight back home on Saturday.
I have decided that the only bad experience I have had is having to leave this underwater world. It truly has been remarkable!