More than 300 students enrolled in programs at 45,000-square-foot facility
The healthcare industry is one of the top employers in our state. The industry offers good paying jobs and needed services that help keep communities healthy. Edgecombe Community College (ECC) now is one of two North Carolina community colleges that offer a simulated hospital environment on campus, producing ready-to-work graduates with more hands-on experience.
“Community colleges are North Carolina’s workforce trainers,” said Dr. Deborah Lamm, ECC president. “We are preparing future health care professionals today for the jobs of tomorrow.”
Students at ECC’s Biotechnology and Medical Simulation Center have the opportunity to learn in a high-tech simulated hospital environment before they begin clinical rotations and work with live patients.
ECC opened the state-of-the-art 45,000-square-foot Biotechnology and Medical Simulation Center on its Rocky Mount campus in January 2016 and currently has over 300 students enrolled in its certificate, diploma and degree programs there.
The Biotechnology and Medical Simulation Center has multiple classrooms and a 96-seat auditorium. The simulated hospital is spread over two floors and has an emergency room, intensive care unit, nurses’ station, radiography suites, surgical suite, and an ambulance setting.
ECC provides training using the equipment for the following programs: Nursing, Practical Nursing, Nurse Aide, Medical Assisting, Surgical Technology, Radiography, and Respiratory Therapy.
Taylor Hart, August 2016 ECC Surgical Technology graduate, was impressed with the new building and technology.
Taylor Hart Edgecombe Community College Surgical Technology graduate now works at the SurgiCenter in Greenville.
“My first classes were held in the older building on the Tarboro campus,” she said. “The instructors were great, but the classrooms were small, and that limited some of our activities.”
In January 2016, Hart’s classes transferred over to the Biotechnology and Medical Simulation Center on the Rocky Mount campus.
“The advanced technology in the center is amazing,” said Hart. “The designers clearly put a great deal of thought into creating a realistic hospital atmosphere that allows us to integrate our classroom knowledge with the skills we need for patient care in the actual work situation.”
Hart completed allied health sciences courses at Tarboro High School before earning a bachelor’s degree in recreational therapy at East Carolina University. After finding a limited number of job openings in her field, she enrolled at ECC to add the surgical technology certification to her skill set and expand her options for health care employment. Hart is now working at the SurgiCenter in Greenville.
“The Biotechnology and Medical Simulation Center is an excellent university-quality instructional space,” said Tim King, ECC clinical director of Respiratory Therapy. “It’s unusual to find something like this at the community college level. It’s no surprise that it is generating a lot of interest from individuals, as well as from other colleges. I receive calls and email everyday with requests for enrollment information from potential students.”
Edgecombe County and the Golden LEAF Foundation provided funding for construction, and the college provided funding for equipment and technology.
“This facility and our instructors are ensuring that our graduates are ready for the fast-paced and advancing field of health care,” said Lamm. “By providing realistic patient scenarios, students from various health science programs learn to communicate, collaborate, and work as a team in the same way health care professionals of an interdisciplinary team work together in a real life situation.”
For more information on the Biotechnology and Medical Simulation Center, visit http://www.edgecombe.edu/.