Mar 25, 2013 - By Katie Roenigk, Staff WriterMembers of the Central Wyoming College nursing faculty are getting excited about their upcoming move to the new Health/Science Center being constructed on campus.
"It's very amazing," assistant nursing professor Debbie McClure said this week during a tour of the facility. "There's nothing like this in Wyoming."
After 35 years as a nurse and seven years teaching at CWC, McClure said she is happy for the opportunity to work in a setting designed specifically to meet her needs and those of her colleagues.
"We gave them all the input about designing this," McClure said. "They tried to do what we wanted."
She is particularly interested in the center's nursing simulation laboratory, where students will be able to practice their response to a variety of patient situations.
"We can have a multi-patient assignment, like a real hospital assignment," McClure said, pointing to the large doorways that were built to accommodate stretchers and other equipment. "(For example) we'll have to convey a mannequin or a person in here and simulate resuscitation."
Afterward, the students will retire to a debriefing room to watch footage of their work. Nursing program director Kathy Wells said the lab is one of three rooms on the building's second floor that include debriefing areas, which will be used by more than the health and science students.
"We can have tours come through watching what the students are doing without making them nervous," Wells said.
A similar set-up is in place on the first floor, where windows were installed along the physiology, anatomy, biology and chemistry/microbiology laboratories. CWC President Jo Anne McFarland said the public walking through the building likely will enjoy watching students at work.
"It's a way of making science more accessible," she said. "(We're) letting people see the scientific process."
Once the building is open, McClure said it's only a matter of time before people begin seeking out CWC for education and employment.
"When people come visit and see this facility and it gets out, people will want to come here," she said. "I think it'll be big (for) recruitment, not only for students but for faculty too."
Wells said other health professionals will want to use the center for various hospital certifications as well.
"We're going to attract people from all over," Wells said.
CWC officials hope the building adds to the college experience for all of its students, and the community. A 96-seat auditorium is part of the center, which also comes equipped with a bright, open study area on the second floor. CWC Trustee Nicole Schoening was excited about all of the windows that offer a view of the surrounding landscape.
"This is beautiful," she said. "I love the light. ... There's a lot of energy."
McFarland said organizers arranged the building so there would be "a beautiful view" of the area, and of the green space that eventually will surround the building.
Wayne Robinson, director of the physical plant at CWC, said the center should be complete this summer, when staff will be able to begin moving in.
"We're very excited," assistant nursing director Stacey Stanek said. "It's going to change everything about the way we teach nursing."
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