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A heartbeat, a pulse

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Local York Tech center gets patient simulators

By Jesef Williams

KERSHAW – Blood pressure and heart rates are just some of the vital signs students at York Technical College’s Kershaw/Heath Springs Center will be able to read in class.

Nursing students and others taking classes under York Tech’s medical programs will soon have access to two patient simulators.

The full-body manikins have a temperature, pulse and heart beat – signs students can monitor on a screen display as they would real-life patients.

These simulators are provided through a $165,000 grant Lancaster County has received to benefit York Tech’s Kershaw/Heath Springs Center. Money from the grant is also paying for distance-learning technology, which will allow local students access to more courses offered at York Tech, which is based in Rock Hill.

The grant was funded under a Community Development Block Grant from the S.C. Department of Commerce. Support was also provided by the Clarence H. and Anna Elizabeth Lutz Foundation and the John T. Stevens Foundation.

The total project costs $220,000.

York Tech officials held a reception Wednesday at the Kershaw/Heath Springs Center to thank the donors and offer a tour of the new equipment provided through the grant.

“This was a team effort, and we appreciate the support that was provided by each of our partners,” York Tech President Greg Rutherford said. “We are committed to creating greater accessibility to training programs for our students and this funding has enabled us to do more in Lancaster County.”

Several elected officials attended the reception and later had a chance to check out the patient simulators themselves.

Genny Hendrix, who serves on Kershaw Town Council, is glad to see the distance-learning connections available in the Heath Springs/Kershaw area. Many local student will benefit, she said.

“I find this utterly fascinating,” Hendrix said. “Having this close by is wonderful.”

Kershaw resident Beverly Timmons, who serves on York Tech’s foundation board, believes the patient simulators will yield “smarter students.”

“This is excellent,” said Timmons, a retired nurse. “Students will have the opportunity to be in a real-life scenario without putting a patient in harm’s way.”

The patient simulators will be ready to use for the upcoming fall semester, said Miriam Cauthen, a nursing instructor at the Kershaw/Heath Springs Center. Advanced nursing assistant, medical technician and ECG (electrocardiography) technician are some of the courses the simulators will be used in.

“I’m real thrilled to have them,” Cauthen said. “It will certainly be beneficial.”

Contact reporter  Jesef Williams at jwilliams@thelancasternews.com or at (803) 283-1152