Modern lab at McDowell Technical Community College helps train students

"We can interact with these mannequins and go through real-life scenarios, so, when we get in the field, we're not like deer in headlights," first-year McDowell Technical Community College student Michelle Hagaman said. (Photo credit: WLOS staff)

"I can't breathe ..."

This is among several mannequins in the new simulation lab at McDowell Technical Community College in Marion.

"We can interact with these mannequins and go through real-life scenarios, so, when we get in the field, we're not like deer in headlights," first-year student Michelle Hagaman said.

"The students have to react appropriately," added Judy Melton, dean of health science. "If they make a mistake, then we can let them make that mistake and learn from it so it doesn't happen in the real world."

It's not only nursing students who use the lab, but also all health science students.

The facility is named in memory of Vickie Hogan, a McDowell Tech graduate who worked as a nurse until she died from a stroke.

"She would be proud to know this is here to help other people who want to share in the medical field," said Thurlene Hogan, Vickie's mother.

On the other side of the room, a young mannequin simulates a patient assisted and transported by EMS.

Eugene Edwards, EMS program director at McDowell Technical Community College, explained, "We can make it move simulating road movement ... so the student gets the realization what it's like to work in ambulance itself."

It's real-life training for the real world.

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