HCA Healthcare’s commitment to supporting its nurses and providing education and development resources so they can thrive is now demonstrated through a 48,400-square-foot facility dedicated to clinical training.
The two-story HCA Healthcare Center for Clinical Advancement houses high-fidelity hospital simulation rooms, mid-fidelity simulation labs, connected classrooms, and debriefing rooms.
“This new, state-of-the-art building serves as visual representation of HCA Healthcare’s commitment to providing the education and training needed to recruit as well as retain talented individuals,” says Troy Villarreal, HCA Healthcare Gulf Coast Division president.
The center will help the health system’s nearly 7,000 nurses and other clinicians feel confident and competent in patient care situations by offering training on best practices and sharing expertise in simulation environments.
Standardizing Clinical Education for Excellence in Patient Care
HCA Houston’s new center will help standardize training across the health system’s 13 Houston-area hospitals, outpatient surgery centers, freestanding emergency centers, and freestanding diagnostic imaging facilities where approximately one million patients are cared for every year.
“Bringing the latest teaching technologies under one roof in a new, advanced facility is a major step in preparing our nurses to provide the highest level of care,” says Kelli Nations, chief nurse executive at HCA Houston Healthcare.
The center’s first floor is dedicated to clinical training, specifically for HCA Houston’s StarRN program, which helps new graduate nurses gain the experience needed to begin work in specialty areas. Here, they will gain invaluable, hands-on experience before they move into full-time roles at an HCA Houston Healthcare facility. StaRN nurses go through a six-week intensive program that helps improve their technical skills for things like catheter and IV insertion, Meditech EHR training that includes access to a supply room where they learn how to check out medical supplies, patient-simulation, as well as a week of training at an HCA Houston Healthcare facility.
Mid-fidelity simulation labs provide realistic training opportunities for nurses to rotate through various stations where they learn and perform procedures such as IV insertions, injections, tracheostomy suctioning, and Foley catheter insertions.
The high-fidelity simulation rooms resemble real hospital rooms and include interactive patient manikins operated from a control room. Instructors are able to mimic real-life interactions that help nurses improve their technical and interpersonal skills. The manikins have heart beats; their chests move up and down when breathing; their eyelids blink; and there is even a pregnant manikin that simulates the labor and delivery process.
Following a simulation experience, nurses are able to meet in a debriefing room to review footage of their encounters and identify errors and discuss ways to improve upon these mistakes during future patient interactions. These instructor-guided discussions improve performance and ultimately provide patients with a better experience and outcomes.
Investing in clinical education for our healthcare professionals is necessary to the continual improvement of patient care.
“As the largest healthcare system in the country and one of the leading providers of healthcare in Houston, we know that improving the lives of patients rests in the knowledge and experience of highly-qualified caregivers who have a calling to serve our community,” Villarreal explains.