Practical Nursing Partners with Gerontology for Dementia Lab Experience

Students enrolled in Northwest Technical College’s practical nursing program recently participated in a dementia lab where they were dressed in simulation equipment and instructed to complete a number of tasks.

NTC’s gerontology faculty Dr. Wendy Potratz and Alicia Carley guided students through the immersive experience and afterwards debriefed with students to measure their perspectives regarding care for elderly and dementia patients. Students mentioned that the experience was overwhelming but that it helped them to be more aware and empathetic when dealing with members of the population that may be experiencing dementia.

The dementia lab is a hands-on experience coordinated by Potratz and is a key component of Northwest Tech’s gerontology program.




MN State logoNorthwest Technical College, located in northern Minnesota’s lake district, has prepared students for fulfilling careers in high-demand fields for more than 50 years. The college’s accessible, affordable, hands-on programs also help the region’s employers meet their ever-growing need for a highly skilled workforce. NTC serves more than 1,000 students with an excellent education, an open-enrollment policy and affordable tuition. Students may pursue nearly 40 degree, diploma and certificate programs in six distinct career paths. Classes are offered on campus, online, or as a combination of both. NTC is a member of the Minnesota State system of colleges and universities. For more, visit