South Central College Healthcare and Welding Programs Work Together on Equipment for Students

(December 14, 2015) - Collaboration and Continuous Improvement are two of South Central College’s core values. Recently these philosophies came together in a rather unique way, with two diverse programs at the college working in tandem to develop and innovative solution for students.  

This fall the college’s Health Simulation Center purchased four new training headwall simulation units – two for each of its campuses in North Mankato and Faribault. The units, which simulate oxygen delivery and oral and tracheostomy suctioning, are used in conjunction with the college’s training simulation manikins.  “These units are invaluable in providing our students with the hands-on experience they need to develop the critical thinking and skills essential to their careers in healthcare,” said Health Simulation Specialist and Nursing Instructor Annette Benson, RN, MS, CNE.

The college’s previous headwall simulation units were mounted on a wall, but to provide greater flexibility for use throughout multiple healthcare labs, Benson wanted to make the units mobile. When she asked the college’s long-time Physical Plants Supervisor Russ Berndt if he could construct something on wheels for her, he suggested it might be a good project for the college’s welding students.

Welding instructors Tyler Schneider and John Smith and eight of their students agreed to take on the project. Thanks to their efforts, the college now has two mobile stands for their new headwall simulation units on the North Mankato campus, with two more currently being created at the Faribault campus.

“While there are carts on the market for these headwall simulation units, they are costly and would not have given us exactly what we wanted,” said Benson. “These mobile units were designed and created just for our students by our welding students and that makes them especially valuable.”

In addition to the four new headwall simulation units that are mobile, South Central College has 3 on each campus existing wall-mounted headwall simulation units. South Central College  currently has in a of over 10 adult , child and infant training manikins, including five that are high fidelity that includes a model that offers the latest 3G high fidelity technology. These manikins are controlled remotely by instructors, simulating a wide variety of patient issues and problems the health care students must assess and manage the care needed.