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Mohawk College to open new $3.5M health-care simulation centre

MPP Ted McMeekin speaks with Mohawk College student about 3D imaging technology at the Centre for Health Care simulation.
MPP Ted McMeekin speaks with Mohawk College student about 3D imaging technology at the Centre for Health Care simulation. 900CHML

Hamilton will soon be home to a first for an Ontario college when it comes to health-care training.

Mohawk College is in the process of renovating and expanding lab space on McMaster’s campus to make way for the Centre for Health Care Simulation.

Vice-president of academics, Paul Armstrong, says they are creating a hospital-like setting, equipped with technology that will help students better prepare for patient interactions.

“They’re actually learning how to perform proper ultrasound examinations using simulation,” he said.

While students often study and examine one another, there are some common but often complex and even invasive procedures according to Armstrong that 3D monitors can assist with.

“What we’re able to do now is really elevate the level of skill and experience students have before they go to clinical,” Armstrong said.

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Prior to this, Armstrong says much of the pressure was on the community health-care partners that provide placements.

John Parker, director of inter-professional development at Hamilton Health Sciences says there is some risk associated with that approach.

He says this facility will change that.

“It removes that risk by allowing students to practice in a simulated environment and make all the mistakes they can make without hurting anyone,” Parker said.

The province has invested $2.3 million in the project that will accommodate 2,000 students per semester.

Phase 1 is complete and students are already using the sonography lab.

The centre will soon offer cardiac simulators to practice electrocardiograms (ECGs) as well as interactive mannequins that will be able to assist with a number of medical scenarios.

Mohawk College expects to have the centre fully operational by early 2018.