Source: CCRI

The Community College of Rhode Island is revolutionizing the way it teaches home healthcare with the recent launch of its Community Health Lab at the Flanagan Campus in Lincoln.

This state-of-the-art lab the lab is designed as a studio apartment, a 12’ x 22’ space with a fully-furnished kitchen, bathroom, and living area designed to provide students and current professionals in continuing education programs with the ideal setting for simulating home healthcare scenarios. The lab is equipped with five surveillance cameras that record and live stream video and audio for debriefing and evaluation purposes following the simulation.

With support and funding from the state’s Executive Office of Health and Human Services – and the college’s Healthcare Workforce Transformation Initiatives grant – the lab will serve students and professionals in a wide variety of health science and human service fields, including Nursing, Dental, Occupational and Physical Therapy, and Social Work.

“Our health students will have the opportunity to learn in this community setting to better prepare for real-life experiences in the home,” said CCRI Dean of Health and Rehabilitative Sciences, Suzanne Carr, PhD, RN. “This lab will allow students to collaborate with a multi- disciplinary approach to rehabilitation.”

The launch of CCRI’s new Community Health Lab is a direct response to the recent growth of community-based health care, which is integral to early recognition and management of health issues. This includes both social determinants of health and population health, which have become an important part of healthcare education.

According to Carr, the development of this simulation lab will be instrumental in closing knowledge and skill gaps in the home health setting and also assist in the college’s continuous effort to promote Interprofessional Educational (IPE) between multiple departments. Case scenarios have been developed that are tailored to include members of the interprofessional team in providing care. CCRI’s Division of Workforce Partnerships is also exploring ways the new lab can be utilized in the college’s Continuing Education programming for current healthcare workers to provide them the opportunity to expand their knowledge and skill set.

“This new development at CCRI provides students with the unique experience to gain insight into a patient’s home life and also practice providing assessments and care in a realistic environment,” said Kristen Fournier, MBA, Program Director of Healthcare Workforce Transformation. “Students will have the opportunity to review their simulation with a faculty member and debrief on their experience, ultimately making them more successful when they start going out to patient homes.”

CCRI is at the forefront of improving the ways community college students are prepared to advance their education and career prospects. Named America’s 2019 2-Year College of the Year by Education Dive, CCRI expects to have the highest three-year graduation rate of any community college in New England by 2021.

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