College celebrates Healthcare Simulation Week

Wilson Community College celebrated Healthcare Simulation Week from Sept. 13-19, sponsored by the Society of Simulation in Healthcare. The organization represents all health care workers using simulation to train and improve the safety, efficiency and effectiveness of health care.

Our students use simulation quite often. Think of it as “health care plays” in which the patient presents with symptoms and other issues, and the students or participants then use their knowledge and skills to improve the patient’s status, contact members of the health care team and carry out physician orders. The participants receive feedback in a safe learning environment and take this knowledge with them to the bedside. 

The college has a long history of simulation using low- and high-fidelity mannequins both on campus and at the Virtual Medical Center. WCC, in partnership with Wilson Medical Center, opened the Virtual Medical Center in 2008. In fact, it was one of the first centers in our region. It’s also utilized by the staff of Wilson Medical Center and Wilson County EMS.

The VMC houses high-fidelity mannequins, including six adult and one obstetric mannequins, and even three babies. And on the main college campus, there are an additional three adult mannequins for our students to practice.

The mannequins reproduce bodily functions and have become an integral part in the nursing program. Mannequins can be programmed to have pulses, respirations and heart, lung and bowel sounds. And they can talk and blink their eyes. Our students learn so much from simulation through performing assessments and tasks and also by communicating with the “patient” and the health care team. 

Each of WCC’s health care programs use these mannequins in accordance with their future job responsibilities.

The nursing assistant program focuses on vital signs and other tasks in their scope of practice.

Students in the EMT and paramedic programs can place a breathing tube or chest tube in the mannequin, start IVs, give medications and perform CPR. The EMT programs also have a fully functioning ambulance, which was donated to the college by Wilson County Government. The ambulance provides training for caring for patients in route to the hospital.   

Communication with the agency receiving the patient is key, and it’s essential that our students have this real-world experience before entering the workforce.

The associate degree in nursing and practical nursing programs focus on nursing tasks, including dressing changes, urinary catheterization, intravenous fluids and medication, assessment of the patient and communication with the patient, family and health care team.

If you think about it, we learn more from our mistakes than our successes. Simulation allows for mistakes to be made that don’t have a negative impact on the patient. Communication and actions can be perfected that benefit the patient in a safe, non-threatening setting through simulation training.

For more information about our nursing programs, use of simulation or the Virtual Medical Center, contact Dawn Watson, nursing instructor and VMC coordinator, at, or Becky Strickland, dean of allied health, at #WilsonCC — we make Wilson work.


• Sept. 25 — WCC Car & Truck Show from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. (main campus).

• Oct. 4-8 — Student Government Association Spirit Week.

• Oct. 7 — CyberSafe in the Gigabit City v 3.0.

• Oct. 11-12 — Fall break.

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Severe Weather Alert

Due to the threat of severe weather, the college will be closed on Friday, September 7, 2023.