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University of Rio Grande Breaks Ground on Simulation Center

April 14, 2017

The University of Rio Grande and Rio Grande Community College breaks ground for the new Simulation Center in the Davis Career Center. Pictured left to right are Chair Elect of the University of Rio Grande Board of Trustees, Kay Irvin; Chair of the Rio Grande Community College Board of Trustees, Larry Kidd; President, Dr. Michelle Johnston, Dean of the School of Health and Behavioral Sciences, Dr. Donna Mitchell; and Nursing Skills Lab Coordinator Michelle Young.

The University of Rio Grande and Rio Grande Community College breaks ground for the new Simulation Center in the Davis Career Center. Pictured left to right are Chair Elect of the University of Rio Grande Board of Trustees, Kay Irvin; Chair of the Rio Grande Community College Board of Trustees, Larry Kidd; President, Dr. Michelle Johnston, Dean of the School of Health and Behavioral Sciences, Dr. Donna Mitchell; and Nursing Skills Lab Coordinator Michelle Young.

The University of Rio Grande and Rio Grande Community College hosted a groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of the new Simulation Center. The center will be located inside the Davis Career Center on Rio’s main campus. Dr. Donna Mitchell, dean for the School of Health and Behavioral Sciences, said the nursing and allied health programs are excited to see the construction begin.

“This groundbreaking is the beginning of a new era of learning and education for our students,” Mitchell said. “This has been a dream we’ve had for quite some time. I can just envision the students walking into the new simulation center for the first time. We are grateful for the support of the administration and both boards of trustees for making this a reality.”

The Simulation Center will create a simulated hospital environment for nursing and allied health students to bridge the gap between classroom learning and clinical training. In the center, students will interact with both high and mid-fidelity mannequins to practice medical treatments and patient care techniques from ER to pediatric care. Michelle Young, nursing skills lab coordinator, said the center will provide students with higher quality education and experience in a wider variety of medical scenarios they could encounter when working with patients in order to send higher quality practitioners into the medical fields upon graduation.

“This creates that connection between the classroom and clinical application while allowing students to enhance their critical thinking skills in a safe environment. They can practice different scenarios in this setting before they experience it with a real patient, enabling them to provide better patient care in the field,” Young said. “Simulation is used in a variety of fields, so this is a great opportunity for us to provide this to our students. They will be able to debrief and work through how they handle a situation and discuss ways to enhance their skills.”

The construction for the Simulation Center is scheduled for completion by the fall semester.