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News Releases @ TCC

College uses human patient simulators for life-like clinical experience

HAMPTON ROADS, Va. (Sept. 10, 2010) – Tidewater Community College has won a prestigious Governor’s Technology Award for innovative teaching practices with human patient simulators in its nursing and health-science programs. On behalf of the college, Richard Andersen, TCC vice president for information systems, and Gary Cross, respiratory therapy professor, accepted the award on Sept. 7 at the Commonwealth of Virginia Information Technology Symposium.

The Governor’s Technology Awards feature six categories; TCC won the category for Innovative Use of Technology in Higher Education. The criteria for evaluation included business proposition; innovation and technical merit; and value and success.

The award recognizes TCC’s commitment to the development and delivery of healthcare education in current and emerging fields of study. To enrich learning, the college incorporates the use of high-fidelity human patient simulators in its nursing, respiratory therapy and other health-science programs, enabling students to acquire advanced clinical skills in a highly technical, realistic learning environment.

The college was the first in the nation to develop simulation scenarios for the respiratory therapy field, with funding from TCC’s Batten Fellowship for Technological Innovation and Leadership. Gary Cross, then head of TCC’s respiratory therapy program, developed the scenarios to integrate the simulators with a respirator and emergency room equipment. The scenarios enhanced learning and included diagnosis, treatment and abnormalities associated with cardio-respiratory care.

Virginia Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling, left, and Secretary of Technology Jim Duffey, far right, presented the prestigious award to TCC, accepted by Vice President for Information Systems Richard Andersen, center right, and respiratory therapy professor Gary Cross.

TCC also participated in testing of the METIVision system, a new automated digital recording and analysis product, and recommended improvements to increase its learning effectiveness. The system, now in use at the college, enables the student and instructor to replay the entire scenario for a facilitated debriefing and evaluation of how the student reacted to changes in the human patient simulator’s physiology.

The college’s state-of-the-art learning laboratories produce highly skilled graduates who excel in the workplace and at four-year colleges and universities. TCC offers 13 programs in health professions including nursing housed in the Beazley School of Nursing.

TCC students learn with human patient simulators.


Laurie White

Tidewater Community College - the largest provider of higher education and Workforce Solutions services in Hampton Roads - topped 45,000 students in 2009-10. The 16th highest associate-degree producer in the nation, TCC offers more than 150 programs including business administration, culinary arts, general studies, modeling & simulation, network security, nursing, and automotive technology. Among the fastest-growing two-year institutions in the United States, TCC was founded in 1968 as a part of the Virginia Community College System. The college serves the South Hampton Roads region with campuses in Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth and Virginia Beach as well as the TCC Jeanne and George Roper Performing Arts Center in Norfolk’s theater district, the Visual Arts Center in Olde Towne Portsmouth, the Regional Automotive Center in Chesapeake, and the Advanced Technology Center in Virginia Beach. Forty-six percent of the region’s residents attending a college or university in Virginia last fall were enrolled at TCC. For more information, visit