Altierus Houston Hobby Campus Unveils Simulation Lab

October 4, 2017 | By Wanetta Jones-Allen

Making sure students are career-ready is a priority at Zenith Education Group, where we focus on helping students succeed. Our Altierus Career College and WyoTech campuses train their students in a multitude of ways to ensure they are prepared for the workplace by providing hands-on skills practice, soft skills development, interview prep and externship placement.

And while the formula for a successful student is unique to each individual, a key element is providing experience and training on equipment that mirrors the marketplace.

This is especially true for students in the medical assisting field. With technology often changing and above-average projected job growth, medical assisting students need to make sure they’re at the forefront of their field by having exposure to current technology.

Recently, the Altierus Career College Houston Hobby campus constructed a high-tech simulation lab for its students in that program. The new lab creates a clinic-like atmosphere with two high-fidelity mannequins—one male and one female—that mimic real patients. The life-like mannequins provide students with realistic, hands-on experience as well as an alternative for those who are nervous to perform tests and potentially painful procedures on humans for the first time.

“Many times the students will stop coming to school to avoid skills practice that they are afraid of or not ready to perform on live patients,” said LaTonya Jones, Altierus Hobby’s campus department chair. “The Sim Lab provides an environment where they can practice and demonstrate proficiency on life-like mannequins.”

The mannequins exhibit human functions and allow students to learn vital skills, such as taking blood pressure, noticing reactive pupils, and listening to heart and lung sounds. Students can perform common procedures, such as starting an IV, obtaining a blood sample, inserting a bladder catheter, giving medications, treating wounds and assisting with surgical procedures.

“The simulations provide highly realistic, hands-on experiences that help students learn and practice before interacting with actual patients,” said Jones. “The lab and its equipment, personnel, and even its sounds and smells mirror that of a functioning clinic or hospital.”

The lab includes a viewing room where classmates can watch via television, take notes, and provide feedback during debrief sessions with fellow classmates and instructors. Additionally, medical billing and coding students can work in a portion of the lab that simulates a front office, giving them hands-on training in their field of study.

The lab was unveiled last week at Altierus Houston Hobby’s open house and ribbon cutting event.

Wanetta Jones-Allen is the campus director and academic dean at Altierus Houston Hobby.