MCC opens patient simulation lab, veterans center

February 25, 2019

BULLHEAD CITY — Ribbons fell Friday afternoon at Mohave Community College and two different sorts of advancements were revealed.

The college’s Bullhead City campus hosted dual ribbon-cutting ceremonies to show off its new virtual patient simulation lab in the nursing building, and the new veterans center in the campus library.

The centerpiece of the nursing-lab presentation was the unveiling of two lifelike mannequins known as “Sim-man” and “Junior.”

Sim-man resembles a real patient, down to the blinking eyes.

“He sweats, he talks, he can bleed,” nursing program director June Weiss said. “You can put fluids in him. You can get fluids out of him.

“If you open up his belly, it would be like looking under the hood of a car,” she said.

The technology is so advanced, Bullhead City campus Dean Carolyn Hamblin said, that students can record some of the time they spend in the simulation lab as clinical hours.

She said the addition of the mannequins to MCC’s four campuses represents an investment of more than $1 million “in our students, and therefore in the community.”

While students are tending to the virtual patients, faculty can watch from another room. The sessions are recorded, Weiss said, and students get the bulk of their learning from debriefing later.

She said the simulation lab closely emulates real life, but is a safe place to make mistakes, and the students are more competent and confident when they start working with real patients.

The veterans center was launched after MCC’s first, on the Kingman campus, was well-received.

It’s intended as a space where veterans can meet, study and talk about their shared experiences, Hamblin said.

They also have access to information from local agencies about veterans services offered in the community.

Hamblin said the Kingman veterans center came about after veterans services coordinator Jimi Hammond found research showing that having a dedicated space for veteran students had a significant effect on their academic success.

The nonprofit S.E.E.4Vets donated laptops, maps and flags of the U.S. military branches for the space. There are now veterans centers on the college’s three southern campuses.