• Lindsay Stevens | News Editor

GC opens new simulation and translational research

GC officially opened the new Navicent-Baldwin Simulation and Translational Research Center this fall.

GC has settled into the third floor of the building next to the Navicent-Baldwin Hospital in Milledgeville after having to move out of their Macon facility last December. The Macon building was sold to another company after several years of being on the market.

GC then spent Spring 2018 moving over equipment and painting the walls to create the new Navicent-Baldwin facility.

“We used the center for the first time in the summer; we had both undergraduates and graduate students in the summer,” said director and professor of nursing Debby MacMillan. “We had our official opening in the fall.”

The center offers real life experiences to train nursing students before they start their careers.

“The simulation center floor looks exactly like a real hospital floor, and the med and supply rooms are stocked just like a hospital,” said junior Annmarie Leahy, a nursing major. “The professors really want you to feel out your comfort zone, stepping into the primary nurse’s role.”

Along with the typical hospital rooms, the center also has a delivery room, a doctor’s office and a room set up as an apartment so the students can practice home visits. Every room has cameras to monitor the students’ actions; the video is fed back to a control room where instructors watch it.

The Navicent-Baldwin Center has a plethora of high-tech features to help nursing students become more comfortable treating patients. Some of these features include high-fidelity mannequins, a real nurses station, a medication room, various patient rooms and smart boards.

The center also has standardized patients, which are individuals trained to give the same answers to the nursing students every time. These individuals are crucial to the learning experience.

“They help with the kind of things you need a real person for,” MacMillan said. “It teaches students appropriate communication skills, appropriate skills for getting an excellent history and physical and how to be empathetic to a patient. We can also practice different scenarios when the patient is rude to you or they’re upset because they received bad news about a test.”

The standardized patients are also used for the kinesthesiology students.

The center also has a robot that graduate students can use to participate when they are off campus. They can even take part in simulations and help undergraduate students during theirs.

“In a pediatric simulation, our nurse practitioner students are in their pediatric rotation, so they can play the role of pediatric provider,” MacMillan said. “So the students can pretend they are calling them on the phone, or they can ask them to come in for a consult, and they can participate.”

Junior Elizabeth Griffin, a GC student who was accepted into the Spring 2019 cohort, said she looks forward to being able to use the simulation center.

“Having that as a resource for the upcoming semester is a great addition to the GC nursing program because it is so close to home,” Griffin said. “We have easier access to it, and the hospital can finally accommodate and match the increasing competitiveness of the nursing school.”

GC plans to do a more comprehensive renovation of the building in the late spring or early summer, which will include knocking down walls to create larger classroom spaces.

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