Grand Strand Technology Council visits HGTC

  • Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Anita Crone/For The Times Horry Georgetown Technical College dental hygiene students can view their work from a computer.


At Horry Georgetown Technical College, simulation is stimulating.

Deans, dentists and department heads at the Grand Strand Campus' Speir building, which houses the dental clinic and programs and the nursing program and related offerings, showed off the high-tech workplace for members of the Grand Strand Technology Council on Jan. 21 with an interactive tour.

Tech council members tried their hands at reviving a patient who stopped breathing, and delivering a baby using the same $75,000 simulators that are a hallmark of the school's high-tech training offerings.

Instructors can program the simulators to perform any of a number of medical emergencies or situations the students might encounter.

“We can't always plan a delivery,” said Ann Daniels, who nursing professor.

“Face it, there are times when babies just aren't being born. This way, we can be assured that students get the training they need.”

About 360 students go through the simulation labs, which also allows instructors to debrief students after their performances.

Simulators are used for such routine tasks as taking vitals — pulses and blood pressure readings — to the more serious situations, such as a patient stopping breathing,

Dental clinic observations

For dental students, the key is being able to see actual procedures from other locations. The school's clinical area isn't always conducive to having a crowd around a patient, but now students can be in a classroom and see what's going on in the clinic area as if they were there.

Faculty can remotely observe student work from a central area, seeing clearly individual teeth, how a student holds instruments and how the student performs overall.

The ability to perform those tasks did not come easily, said Vince Myers, the college's director of technical support services.

When the $7.8 million addition for the dental programs in the Speir Building was being completed, all new wiring and communication options were installed. “We needed to make this work not only for today's students, but for future students,” Myers said, adding that the work was particularly important in the dental hygiene area.

“We had to ensure that the wiring didn't get damaged from the water that is used in the lab,” he said. “But we did it.”

The simulators also provide a sense of pride for Horry Georgetown officials. The school has more simulators than any other technical college in the state.

“We want to provide a well-educated workforce,” said Philip Render, dean of technologies-management.

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