School of Nursing's "Virtual Hospital"
The University of Texas Health Science Center’s School of Nursing’s long awaited Virtual Hospital and Simulation Center project has finally commenced Phase One construction after nearly two years in development. This new simulation center, to be located in the sub level of the Nursing School annex building, originated in the fall of 2009 as the school of Nursing looked to convert and expand the existing simulation lab areas into a state-of-the-art virtual hospital environment.
Reuben Pinkson, Facilities Management architect, closely coordinated the requirements for this project with Dean Breslin of the School of Nursing, Dr. Suzanne Yarbrough (Associate Dean for the Undergraduate Nursing Program), Rudy Gomez (Assistant Dean for Admission), and Ashley Lowe (Director of Development), before employing local architectural firm Garza Bomberger to complete the construction documents.
Phase 1 of the project includes the conversion of the existing sub-level multipurpose area into four new clinical skills labs. These new spaces will include a PDICU, Ambulatory Recovery, OB / Birthing, and a Post-Partum simulation lab. These labs will be supported by two control rooms, a debriefing room, and a new server room. Phase 1 is currently scheduled to be completed by the summer of 2011.
Phase 2 of the project will include the conversion of the remaining classroom space into three more observation rooms, a daily living skills lab, a med surge skills lab, and an ICU skills lab. These spaces will be supported by twocontrol rooms and additional storage space for the simulation equipment. This area is currently being used as a mock-up area for the new University Hospital Tower project. A memorandum of agreement was brokered between UTHSCSA and the University Hospital, which will result in significant cost savings for the Phase 2 work. Phase 2 work should commence during the 2nd quarter of 2011 once this area has been turned back over to the HSC.
The estimated project cost for both Phase 1 and 2 is currently over $2M with funding provided in part by a $1,000,000 EDA grant. The School of Nursing will provide matching funding for the remainder for the project costs. Dwight Beckingham, Facilities Management Project Manager, will serve as the construction project manager and will oversee job order contractor LMC throughout Phase 1 and 2 construction.