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In the Fall of 2012, SVC unveiled its dynamic new Healthcare Education Center (HEC), strategically designed to provide technology enhanced hands-on learning experiences for the 21st century nursing student. Housed in a historic building that was once home to the Holden-Leonard Mill, the HEC’s spacious facilities feature a dedicated low-fidelity skill laboratory, high-fidelity simulation and x-ray laboratories, technologically advanced classrooms and conference space, as well as ample offices with a secure file area.
The HEC offers one of the few fully functioning simulation lab facilities in the region. Developed in collaboration with Southwestern Vermont Medical Center, the Sim Lab provides our students with the opportunity to work on an entire multicultural, anatomically correct, “virtual family” that includes male and female adults and children as well as a baby, for the ultimate nursing practice experience.
The enhanced learning environment provided by the new facilities enables students to hone their skills to meet current practice standards. The fully equipped space recreates the real-world work environment with the requisite equipment necessary to provide comprehensive development of critical thinking skills and competency in other skills such as positioning, transferring, sterile technique, medication administration and documentation of care, which promotes the safety and quality of patient care. The size and proximity of the skill and simulation laboratories to the classrooms allows small, personalized study groups of up to eight students to move seamlessly through their assigned learning exercises. Coverage of simulation experience scenarios by advanced AV technology allows for group debriefing with discussion, analysis and evaluation.
Simulation allows students to practice collaborative learning to enhance the cognitive, social and leadership skills required in today’s progressive workplace. These include computer-generated simulations of complex medical, surgical, pediatric and psychiatric patient care situations including emergencies. Competency development also includes pre-programmed conversations for students to practice patient teaching, delegation, multidisciplinary collaboration, and other interpersonal communication skills.
Healthcare Education Center Description
• Located at The Mill, Southern Vermont College Healthcare Education Center, Benmont Avenue, Bennington, Vermont, one mile from the Everett Mansion of SVC.
• 10,000 square feet on two floors.
• One skills laboratory, one simulation laboratory, an x-ray laboratory, classrooms and faculty offices.
• Classrooms are equipped with high-tech audio-visual equipment
• Ample learning space for up to 80 students.
• Easy-to-move modular seating and desk units designed to accommodate participatory group work and promote collaborative learning.
• Small classes accommodate students in need of learning accommodations during written examinations and provide additional space during computerized testing
• Skills laboratory is equipped with patient care areas with sinks and headwalls with air and suction
• A nurses’ station, clean utility area, and storage area support student simulation of the preparation and demonstration of skills and procedures.
• Faculty offices in close proximity to learning areas promote student/faculty interaction. A supply, break room and secure file area are also located in the Mill.
Melissa North, Instructor, Division of Nursing.