Palm Beach State awarded Florida Blue Foundation grant

Through the use of human simulation technology, health care students can practice clinical skills without putting real patients in jeopardy. The technology promotes safer, better patient care when it counts, and has been used by Palm Beach State College for more than 10 years.

Now the Florida Blue Foundation has awarded Palm Beach State a $55,000 grant to enhance the use of simulation technology in its health sciences programs. The College is one of eight Florida institutions to share in the approximately $350,000 Florida Blue Foundation Simulation Mini Grant Program to support applied simulation research and program development to advance health care education and training.

At Palm Beach State College, adult, pediatric and infant human patient simulators are used for training scenarios in the Health Sciences and Public Safety programs. Above, nursing students check vital signs.

Human patient simulators are wireless, computerized mannequins, available in each gender and stage of life, that are capable of mimicking any medical condition or crisis, from heart attacks to asthma to diabetes. PBSC will use the new funding to further develop training scenarios and curriculum to prepare students to work collaboratively in the team-based approach used in actual health care settings. Through real-life scenarios, students enrolled in the Nursing, Emergency Medical Services and Respiratory Care programs, for example, would gain an understanding of each other’s roles and competencies, while applying their specific hands-on knowledge and skills in real-time.

“In today’s patient-centered health care system, teamwork is paramount,” says Dr. Jacqueline Rogers, Lake Worth campus dean of health sciences and public safety. “The Florida Blue Foundation grant will allow us to fine-tune our work with simulation technology with the goal of achieving reproducible results that can be shared statewide.”

PBSC was the first to use medical simulation in an educational setting in Palm Beach County when Rogers used this new technology in the College’s Respiratory Care program in 2001 and founded the College’s Center of Excellence in Medical Simulation. Simulation activities have grown since then with more than 5,000 students in health sciences and public safety programs provided high-fidelity simulation experiences during their training.

The Research Committee of the Florida Healthcare Simulation Alliance assisted the Florida Blue Foundation with the development of the simulation mini-grant program. Other recipients include Baptist Health System at Jacksonville, Florida International University College of Nursing and Health Sciences, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute Foundation, Seminole State College, University of Central Florida Research Foundation, University of Florida Health Shands Hospital, and the University of Miami School of Nursing and Health Studies.

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