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Realistic Workplace Scenarios in the Classroom at Blackhawk Technical College

Tiffany Scuglik

If there is anything this past year has taught us all, is the importance of our frontline workers and the need for them. Student interest in healthcare professions have taken off during the pandemic. There are also many students who are finding other interests in hands-on careers at local technical colleges. Many technical colleges are bringing these realistic workplace scenarios to the classrooms leaving students with the confidence to perform their jobs after school.

We have partnered with Blackhawk Technical College for several years at their various campuses in Janesville, Milton, and Monroe, WI with many of our own employees attending or have graduated from Blackhawk Technical College.

Advanced Manufacturing Training Center

Located in Milton, JP Cullen partnered with Blackhawk Technical College in creating a real-world training center for students to develop manufacturing skills needed. The 107,500 square foot project was an existing manufacturing facility comprised of seven buildings – some dating to 98 years old.

Real-World Training Center

The facility houses all of Blackhawk Technical College’s manufacturing programs. The center includes:

  • 40 welding bays
  • Six automated systems labs
  • Training labs for fabrication, numerical control, industrial maintenance, mechanical design and heating, ventilation and air conditioning
  • A manufacturing information technology classroom, which features the only state-approved manufacturing information technology program in Wisconsin
  • The capstone lab where students from all disciplines work together on projects
  • Capstone cameras where students watch projections of lab work through camera technology

Health Sciences Renovation

Located at Blackhawk Technical College’s Central Campus in Janesville, JP Cullen completed a 50,000 square foot renovation project transforming it into a healthcare training facility for students. The project doubled the previous space and created a more realistic workplace scenarios.

Real-World Simulation Classrooms

Hospital simulation suites set up identical to real-world hospital rooms. Each suite is also equipped to use a mannequin patient simulator including a pregnant woman, an adult male, a six year old child, and an infant, all of which can be controlled by the instructors behind a one way mirrored window allowing them to adjust the patient’s breathing, pulse and blood pressure – among many other things.

Blackhawk Technical College
Hands-On Learning

Other unique features include realistic patient waiting rooms, front desks, locker rooms, a pharmacy training lab with all the equipment a real pharmacy would have – including a pharmacy counter, pill counters, a prescription logging system and much more. The new renovation and layout also allow for an ambulance to pull right up to the school so EMTs-to-be can unload a gurney, rush it down the hall and load up the mannequin or patient simulator for transport. Students can now push the gurney down the hall, simulating a hospital corridor. This also allows for the cross training of students. Police, fire and EMT students can train alongside the nursing and radiography students and do simulation drills together.

One-of-a-Kind Learning Opportunities

The renovation includes a brand new, standalone dental lab with six dental operation/exam rooms – where students can make and repair teeth molds. Also, a fully functioning bathroom and shower area – where students can learn to properly wash patients and empty fluid bags. Another new feature is larger classrooms with cameras allowing students to observe procedures going on in the other room. The camera can zoom in and out so students can see tiny details such as a small focused area of the mouth. Previously, students had to gather around the patient looking over shoulders, not typically getting an up-close view.

The last, and probably most unique, feature of the renovation is the Anatomage 3D human anatomy visualization system, known to students as the visual cadaver or “Human iPad”. This table-sized computer screen is made up of images from a real cadaver donated to science, where each layer of the body was photographed by scientists. The tabletop screen and corresponding wall-mounted computer monitors allow instructors and students the ability to manipulate the body and study it from many different angles seeing a variety of potential wounds and how they might affect multiple layers of the body. Students can also learn and practice doing a virtual autopsy.

Blackhawk Technical College

All these unique features give students the hands-on ability to act out real life scenarios and prepare for their real-world career in healthcare and manufacturing.

To learn more about these projects and similar ones, check out our page on Education!

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July 17, 2024