Home > About SPCC > News & Publications > SPCC In The News > The Charlotte Business Journal on the Simulation Education Center at CMC-Union

College, hospital team up on training
CMC-Union simulators help South Piedmont expand nursing program

Charlotte Business Journal - by Jennifer Thomas Staff writer

These aren?t your typical patients.

Instead, three computerized human-patient simulators now offer advanced training for nursing students at South Piedmont Community College in Monroe and the staff at Carolinas Medical Center-Union.

The partnership is a natural fit because it ensures training opportunities for local students who may one day work at the hospital, says Denise White, CMC-Union vice president of patient care services and chief of nursing. ?We really need to partner together to make sure we have an excellent pool of health-care professionals.?

The training focuses on real-life scenarios. Instructors assess students and hospital personnel on how well they respond to a range of medical situations.

?This simulator actually breathes on his own,? says Joyce Long, director of associate degree nursing at South Piedmont. ?He actually will blink. I saw him have a seizure. He does anything and everything he can be programmed to do. He responds just like a person.?

Says White: ?That gives us a huge wealth of information about how that person would respond in certain conditions. It?s really taking our training to the next level.?

The 1,900-square-foot simulation education center, housed at CMC-Union?s outpatient pavilion, cost $500,000. More than $362,000 of that expense was paid through a grant from The Duke Endowment.

Additional costs for staffing and supplies depend on how often the facility is used.

For the fledgling nursing program at South Piedmont, the center provides access to advanced technology without requiring students to travel elsewhere, Long says.

The college began its nursing program in fall 2006 and has just 19 graduates to date.

About 40 students are now enrolled, but the N.C. Nursing Board has approved doubling the program?s size to 80 students in the fall.

The simulation lets students prepare for complex situations in a controlled manner, allowing them to make mistakes while also developing problem-solving and critical-thinking skills.

?It?s exactly like real life without having to hurt anybody or practice on anybody,? Long says.

 

jenniferthomas@bizjournals.com