Tour NWTC’s new expansion

January 13, 2014

From fox11online.com: “A tour of NWTC’s new expansion” —  GREEN BAY — More and more people are looking to preventative and in-home care as the American population continues to age.

A new expansion at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College is helping nursing students be better prepared for the changes.

The 13,000 sq. ft. expansion includes three new learning labs — a wellness lab, a caregiver learning center and a simulation lab.

Nursing student Chris Krzewina said the simulation lab is one of the best ways for NWTC students to get experience in patient care.

“It’s a really safe environment,” said Krzewina. “I mean, we don’t have to worry about anyone full-out crashing on us.”

In the lab, students can practice their skills on life-like mannequins that are controlled by instructors. The mannequins have a pulse, and can breathe and even talk to them.

“Now we’re just going to be taking your blood pressure on your arm, OK?” Krzewina asked the mannequin. “Ok, the instructor replied as the voice of the mannequin.

The technology allows instructors to help prepare students for any type of real-life scenario.

“We can use the rare conditions in simulation, something that the students would not typically experience and give them that experience as well,” said Jeff Matzke, a nursing instructor at NWTC.

Students studying in the new wellness lab will learn theory and practice patient coaching techniques that focus on preventative care, something educators say is becoming more popular in the U.S.

“When we talk about cost of health care, which is on a lot of people’s minds these days, prevention is really the best cost,” said Scott Anderson, associate dean of Health Sciences at NWTC. “So how do we keep people out of the health care system? We do that through behavior change and lifestyle change.”

As the population continues to age, student will have to be prepared for another growing trend, in-home care.

“We have our whole kitchen here, or our whole apartment set up here, so that our students will incur some barriers because then we can teach them here in the classroom how to work with those barriers,” said Cindy Theys, associate dean of Health Sciences. “So by the time they get out to someone’s home, they’re going to have tips and tricks to know how to better care for those people in their home.”

No matter kind of patient care students choose to focus on, educators and students said the new learning labs helps give them the hands-on experience they’ll need to succeed.

The total cost for the new expansion was $3.5 million. Gifts from donors covered about $1.1 million.

 

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