HCN News & Notes

Healthcare Employers Tour SIMS Medical Center at STCC

SPRINGFIELD — Springfield-area healthcare employers recently received an eye-opening tour of the SIMS Medical Center, the nationally recognized patient-simulation facility at Springfield Technical Community College (STCC).

Training and Workforce Options (TWO), the workforce-development collaborative of STCC and Holyoke Community College, arranged the tour with 11 employers representing eight different companies, said Sharon Grundel, director of Healthcare Training Development for TWO.

The visit provided a unique opportunity for healthcare employers to get a close-up look at the training process. The SIMS Medical Center provides a state-of-the-art educational environment where students and healthcare professionals obtain new skills and enhance existing ones. The facility’s patient simulators look and talk like real people. They might express displeasure, produce fluids, and emit odors while undergoing treatment.

It was Bill Corbett’s first time touring the SIMS Medical Center, and it left an impression. Like other employers, he received hands-on experience working with the simulators. “The SIMS facility was truly amazing,” said Corbett, Human Resources coordinator for Aging at Home Inc., a home-care agency in Westfield. “The simulation that it offers, giving the students a chance to actually interact with the ‘patient,’ really adds a ‘wow’ factor to the training.”

Debra Allen, vice president of Porchlight VNA/Home Care in Chicopee, called the tour “a wonderful experience. I truly wish something like this had been available when I was a nursing student many years ago.”

Grundel said the company officials who toured the SIMS facility employ home health aides and certified nursing assistants who graduated from STCC. “Their employees have gone through similar training in the SIMS Medical Center, where they received hands-on applied learning.”

Any businesses interested in touring the SIMS Medical Center at STCC should contact Sharon Grundel of TWO. Call (413) 755-4396 or e-mail sgrundel@twoworks.org.