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Pearl River, officials celebrate state-of-the-art simulation lab

HATTIESBURG, Miss. – Pearl River Community College students in the Allied Health programs at the Forrest County Center are now able to gain almost life-like experiences by using a simulation lab in the classroom.

On Wednesday, Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann, surrounded by local and state public officials, cut the ribbon on PRCC’s new simulation lab, located in the Allied Health Center.

“This came out of the CARES Act last year,” said Lt. Gov. Hosemann. He recognized local legislators who had a hand in obtaining funding for the sim lab.

“They needed three-quarters of a million dollars for this project and they went and got it,” he said.

PRCC’s simulation lab is designed to provide immersive learning experiences for healthcare practitioners and students. It consists of realistic looking clinical sim lab rooms, manikins and equipment, and allows learners to practice and development clinical expertise without any risk of patient harm.

“This sim lab offers our students the opportunities to individualize the learning experience, as well as the adaptability of diverse learning of different strategies,” said Dr. Jana Causey, Vice President for Forrest County Center, Allied Health and Nursing Programs. “And, of utmost importance, is the engagement of all of our key medical personnel and how to interact and offer the highest health-care quality possible in the Pine Belt. This is a wonderful opportunity for our students.”

PRCC President Dr. Adam Breerwood pointed out that this sim lab is the start of something special.

“If you want to see CARES dollars work at its very best, this is a perfect example,” he said. “This is a true culmination of efforts of local entities on city and state level, our boards of supervisors, our partnership with Forest Health. A lot of different entities have come together for this special day.”

Following the ribbon cutting, attendees toured the sim lab, which will supplement the experience students receive in clinical settings where they frequently aren’t allowed to provide direct care for the most complex cases.

Added Hosemann, “This sim lab is forward thinking. Not everybody has the foresight to invest in the human mind. And that is what the boards, the city and the school are doing here for Hattiesburg residents, to help them get this education.”

Dr. Breerwood also pointed out the long-term benefits that are possible with health-care projects such as the sim lab.

“We know that our institution can serve as an economic engine for our surrounding communities,” he said. “We know what we are capable of doing. Our job is to continue to remove the obstacles that impede student success. We have enormous responsibilities ahead of us.”