Metropolitan Community College’s Virtual Hospital — a 10,000-square-foot facility that lets health-care students learn by working in a simulated hospital environment that includes a birthing model — has been reaccredited by the Society for Simulation in Healthcare.
In evaluating the Virtual Hospital, SSH reviewers cited these strengths or outstanding practices:
+ Strong simulation program with support from administration, established policies and procedures for planning simulation, and incorporation of standards of best practice.
+ Knowledgeable and experienced simulation faculty and staff who are adaptable and represent nursing and EMS. Program faculty/facilitators who are invested in the importance of simulation education.
+ State-of-the-art facility with excellent and well-maintained equipment.
+ Outstanding community connections.
Overall, the SSH review board found MCC’s Virtual Hospital to be “an outstanding facility that has a great deal of administrative, faculty and community support.” It boasts a “highly trained and committed” staff and “enthusiastic learners.”
The reviewers declared that opportunities for sustainability and growth of the program were “outstanding.”
Simulation education was introduced to the MCC-Penn Valley nursing program in 2006. Penn Valley was awarded $800,000+ to purchase human patient simulators with the OneKC WIRED grant, quickly changing the design and instructional delivery of the nursing and EMS curriculum.
MCC’s simulation center went from two rooms to an impressive 10,000 square feet within a three-year period. The Virtual Hospital opened for business as part of the Health Science Institute in January 2010, providing an unmatched learning environment for students studying nursing, emergency medical services, physical therapy and other health-care disciplines.
The Virtual Hospital now includes 16 high-fidelity simulators, a wireless birthing simulator named Victoria, six large patient rooms, six high-tech debriefing rooms, control rooms, classrooms, meeting space and state-of-the-art audiovisual technology.
MCC, in addition to training its students, also partners with other area educational and health-care institutions to provide simulations for their students and employees.
Competition for clinical placements makes finding open slots difficult for many nursing students. A recent study found that up to half of those clinical hours can be replaced in a high-quality simulation lab with no drop-off in learning. According to the National Council of State Boards of Nursing, students in such programs enter their careers just as ready for clinical practice as peers from more traditional programs. MCC was one of 10 schools selected for participation in the study.
The Virtual Hospital was one of the first academic simulation centers to receive national accreditation from the Society for Simulation in Healthcare.