The College was one of the few educational providers in the North West that was awarded funding under the Government’s Strategic Development Fund (SDF), resulting in an investment of £150,000 into the new training ward.
Impressive new training facilities include an 8-bed replica hospital ward on Campus, cutting-edge dental simulation equipment, digital reality programmes, tactile models and life-like mannequins, virtual dissection tables and specialist teaching staff.
The hospital ward will not only equip students with the skills to better meet the needs of their future employers, but also support local innovation, jobs, and economic growth as well as develop a more efficient overall delivery infrastructure within the College itself.
Facilities are now open within the health and social care department of Cheshire College’s Crewe Campus, and use of them will be offered to students working towards careers in nursing, life science, dentistry, healthcare and education, to name a few.
Learners will be able to engage with responsive mannequins to measure blood pressure, heart rate and even simulate engaging with a patient in a ward setting. They will also be taught to check pulses and can monitor virtual procedures thanks to cutting edge digital equipment provided by the College. Dentistry students can experiment with onsite simulation equipment to begin to understand and attain the skills they will need for their future working life.
Karen Roberts, Assistant Principal has overseen the project. She said: “From our close relationship with employers, we know that the best talents come from when students can experience what it’s really like to be in a work setting. There’s no better place to do this for those pursuing a career in the medical or healthcare field, than in a ward itself. This new high quality learning experience will give our pupils the perfect start to their career journey; and that they will venture into further education, or into work, with transferrable, ‘hands on’ skills attained at Cheshire College. It’s amazing what we’ve been able to achieve here with the investment, it really brings the curriculum alive.”
Local organisations that work with the College have already expressed interest in using the facilities to train their own members of staff; and have highlighted the value of the ward when it comes to the employability of college leavers in this sector.
Many of the students that will be using the new medical facilities on Cheshire College’s Crewe Campus will be studying the new qualifications that are T Levels. T Levels equip students with the real-life technical skills that are valued and required by employers in various industries.