Healthcare Education Center - Skill Laboratory and Simulation Laboratory

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SVC nursing students are prepared for the leadership skills required in today’s highly technological and patient-centered healthcare workplaces.

In the Fall of 2012, Southern Vermont College’s Nursing and Radiologic Science Department unveiled its dynamic new Health Education Center (HEC), strategically designed to provide the quintessential hands-on learning experience for the 21st century nursing and radiologic technology student.     

Housed in a historic building that was once home to the Holden-Leonard Mill, HEC’s spacious facilities feature a dedicated low-fidelity skill laboratory, 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 only 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 practical nursing skills experience.     

Staffed with faculty facilitators educated in the latest nursing innovations and techniques, the enhanced learning environment provided by the new facilities enables students to hone their skills in the required open-lab practice standards. The fully equipped space, complete with a nurses’ station, recreates the real-world work environment with the requisite equipment necessary to provide comprehensive skill development  in activities of daily living, moving ,turning, and positioning, sterile technique, medication administration, documentation of care, and other competency development which promotes the safety and quality of patient care.  The size and proximity of the skill and simulation laboratory 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 emergencies. Competency development also includes pre-programmed conversations for students to practice patient teaching, delegation, multidisciplinary collaboration, and other interpersonal communication skills.  Students are expected to return to the skill laboratory as directed by clinical faculty to further develop skill in in areas of opportunity.

Healthcare Education Center: Facility 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 state of the art 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, such as HESI standardized tests.
  • Skills laboratory is equipped with six patient units and sinks on the inner wall. Compliance with bedside hand-washing, a patient quality and safety standard, can be evaluated.
  • A nurses’ station, clean utility area, and storage area support student simulation of the preparation and demonstration of skills and procedures.
  • Conference room for up to 20 people is equipped with the latest audio-visual and presentation equipment.
  • 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.