NURSING SIMULATION LAB
MEDICAL UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH CAROLINA CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA
The Medical University of South Carolina has recently opened a cutting edge Simulation Center that they hope will drastically change the way medical students are taught and practice before they perform on patients. The Simulation Center is located in the existing Nursing building on MUSC’s campus, but is open to Medical students of all concentrations as a way to learn and perform difficult procedures on human-like mannequins.
Design for the Center began long before the team of Rosenblum Coe Architects began work with the hiring of Dr. John Schaefer, an internationally recognized leader in the Healthcare Simulation field and director of the Education and Research Center of Economic Excellence in Clinical Effectiveness and Patient Safety. Dr. Schaefer was selected to head a statewide network of simulation training centers which when completed will become the nation’s first coordinated state-wide nursing training of its kind. Having developed a similar program at the University of Pittsburgh Dr. Schaefer brought unparalleled experience to the University’s ambitious plans for the Simulation program.
Rosenblum Coe Architects worked closely with Dr. Schaefer during all aspects of the design for the renovations to the existing 11,000 square foot space. Close collaboration was imperative because many of the Simulation Center’s is cutting edge computer technologies were developed specifically for this project by the Center’s director and had never been installed in a facility before. The existing outdated classroom area underwent a drastic renovation designed to convert it into a state-of-the-art teaching laboratory allowing cross-collaboration between many of the university’s programs. The interior renovations included mock operating rooms with adjacent viewing control rooms for instructors, staff offices and a new reception area. These renovations were extremely difficult because the existing facility had limited clearance above ceilings for new mechanical and electrical systems. Also, the existing floors were not designed for the increased loads and structural enhancements had to be provided to support new equipment loads. Exterior renovations were challenging because the program called for the entry of the existing first floor literally to be located on the back of the building in a cramped parking lot. This was made even more difficult by the requirement to provide a mechanical addition to the building to support the increased loads on the first floor.