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The University of South Carolina Upstate Foundation, the fund raising arm to the University of South Carolina Upstate, recently received a leadership gift from the J M Smith Foundation that will enable the Mary Black School of Nursing Simulation Center to purchase technology equipment to help achieve the goal of becoming the Simulation Center of Teaching Excellence in the Upstate of South Carolina. The J M Smith Foundation gift will purchase wireless AV systems, computerized medication dispensing carts, and laptops for electronic bedside documentation.

“Healthcare delivery is rapidly evolving and USC Upstate is committed to being at the cusp of this evolution,” said Bea Walters Smith, director of development and scholarships. “We are thrilled to receive the leadership gift from the J M Smith Foundation as it assures the Mary Black School of Nursing Simulation Center will be a first-class learning facility for our students and community partners in the health care industry.”

A significant component to the nursing curriculum is a well-equipped Simulation Center, a safe environment to replicate clinical situations that accurately provide students and faculty the opportunity to practice, analyze and perfect their skills in patient care. During the past two years, the Mary Black School of Nursing has focused on funding and developing a plan to increase utilization by faculty and students.

The first tenet of the plan was to join Healthcare Simulation South Carolina (HCSSC), nationally-known experts in simulation, under the leadership of Dr. John Schaeffer.  Dr. Schaeffer’s team developed a plan for USC Upstate to build an infrastructure that was in line with other university simulation centers in the state, such as Clemson and USC Columbia. The plan was divided into Phase I and II.  Phase I included a computer and equipment upgrade of the main simulation rooms in the Center and this phase was funded by USC Upstate.

“In August 2012, this phase was completed and when the  nursing students returned for the fall term, utilization increased by nearly 650%, with a total of 3,494 student encounters in the past semester,” said Dr. Margaret Hindman, director of the Joint Center for Nursing Research and Scholarship at USC Upstate.

“Our Simulation Center focuses on creating an environment that fosters innovation and places emphasis on continuous learning that benefits faculty, students and area health professionals,” said Dr. Katharine Gibb, interim dean of the Mary Black School of Nursing at USC Upstate. “By training on these medical simulation machines and in these simulated patient rooms, students and other health care professionals will have even greater expertise and experience for real-life situations.”

For more details about the Mary Black School of Nursing Simulation Center, contact Dr. Katharine Gibb at (864) 503-5444 or kgibb@uscupstate.edu or Dr. Margaret Hindman at (864) 503-5454 or mhindman@uscupstate.edu.

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