Coastal Bend College – Pleasanton Campus will host a public tour of the new nursing mobile simulation lab on Aug. 4, 9 a.m. to noon. The lab will open at 9 a.m. A ribbon cutting ceremony will start at 10 a.m. followed by refreshments.
The gooseneck trailer is outfitted with equipment and simulators so that students can practice emergent scenarios to hone their nursing skills.
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds, administered through Texas Higher Coordinating Board, made it possible for Coastal Bend College to purchase and equip two mobile labs to be circulated among its campuses in Alice, Beeville, Kingsville and Pleasanton. Former District 35 State Representative Yvonne Gonzalez Toureilles and U.S. Congressman Rubén Hinojosa (District 15) played major roles in ensuring that $500,000 of the state budget was earmarked for the project.
Betty Sims, director of nursing at the college, said one of the challenges facing rural nursing programs is the diversity and availability of patients with multiple illnesses at the time the student is in the clinical setting. “Nursing students who train in large metropolitan hospitals may see victims of heart attacks on a daily basis, but not CBC students,” Sims explained. “There is just a limit to the number of heart attacks or births in a small hospital on any given day.”
By taking the lab to the students, the nursing department can meet training demands in four cities for the price of one. Students and local healthcare personnel will use the mobile lab for classroom exercises and continuing education, according to Sims.
There are only a handful of rolling simulation labs around the country using a similar setup for training. Access to a mobile lab reduces the need for hospitals and care centers to either create their own simulation labs or send their employees out of town for training, both costly prospects.
“This grant will directly and immediately improve healthcare in our region,” Sims explained. “We are grateful for the funds and excited about bringing this project to fruition.”
For more information, please call (830) 569-4222. The Pleasanton tour and ribbon cutting are open to the public.