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GSW unveils Phoebe Simulation and Learning Center at special naming ceremony

AMERICUS, GA (May 3, 2024) – Georgia Southwestern State University (GSW) held a naming ceremony for the state-of-the-art Phoebe Simulation and Learning Center, located on the second floor of the Rosalynn Carter Health and Human Sciences Complex, on May 1.

Thanks to the strong partnership and financial support from the Phoebe Putney Health System, GSW’s nursing students have the opportunity to acquire valuable skills in simulated patient environments using mid-fidelity and high-fidelity patient simulators.

Phoebe helped GSW equip its first simulation lab back in 2011 when the new building was complete, under the leadership of Sandra Daniel, Ph.D., former dean of School of Nursing. Their most recent investment has allowed the reinstatement of an associate of science in nursing (ASN), a two-year nursing degree program, which will graduate its first cohort of 35 students this summer and add an additional 30 students to the program in the fall.

"You have invested in us over and over and over again,” GSW President Neal Weaver, Ph.D. said to Phoebe’s leadership. “This reflects your long-term belief in what we do here. You cannot go wrong by investing in this School of Nursing. Because of your investment, others have followed your lead. We appreciate what [Phoebe] has done to enable our nursing program to become the best in Georgia, and one of the best in the southeast and probably the entire country."

The Phoebe Simulation and Learning Center houses five labs, including the Fundamentals Skills Competency Lab, Health Assessment Lab, OB & PEDS Simulation Lab, ED/Trauma & Mental Health Simulation Lab, and the Medical-Surgical & ICU Lab, with a total of 26 simulators.

Teresa Teasley, DNP, interim dean in the College of Nursing and Health Sciences, explained that in these labs GSW nursing students are able to learn high-quality, patient-centered care in a controlled, safe environment. “They develop confidence and competence in nursing skills through instructor-led labs, practice necessary soft skills such as interacting with uncooperative patients and mastering the art of conflict resolution, while learning to work in a team.”

Henderson Hurdle, a junior nursing major, will start her externship at Phoebe this summer and spoke at the event. “In a world full of technology, simulation labs are a key component in the education of nurses in the 21st century. It is truly a blessing to be at a school with resources like these so I can become the most competent nurse possible. Practice time with the mannequins has allowed me to build confidence in my skills before I even arrive on the hospital floor.”

The simulators allow future nurses, like Hurdle, to complete a full set of vitals, start IVs with “blood” return, and insert a urinary catheter or enema to get true fluid return. Full simulation scenarios include the course facilitator using a microphone and headset interacting as if they are the patient, mimicking human responses to injury and interventions.

"Georgia Southwestern and Phoebe Sumter have been serving this community for more than 100 years,” said Phoebe Sumter Medical Center CEO Carlyle Walton. “GSW is a bright thread that's woven through the tapestry of Phoebe. The Phoebe Family is honored, not just to have our name on this facility, but to be a true committed partner with this great University.”

Scott Steiner, CEO of Phoebe Putney Health System, also applauded the partnership because it allows Phoebe dollars to stay in the southwest Georgia communities. By investing and partnering with academic institutions such as GSW, the Phoebe Family of hospitals facilitates the clinical training of nursing candidates, and in many cases, GSW graduates serve in permanent roles – providing service to all citizens of Southwest Georgia.

Watch the full naming ceremony on GSW’s YouTube channel.