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February 5, 2016 11:10 AM

Pre-Hospital Care lab opens at Conestoga

A new, state-of-the-art laboratory opened at Conestoga’s Doon campus on February 4 will provide future emergency responders with the opportunity to develop their skills through hands-on simulation learning.

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Tom Motz addressed the audience at the opening of the Motz Pre-Hospital Care Laboratory on February 4. The new lab will provide hands-on simulation training for emergency responders.

The Motz Pre-Hospital Care Laboratory will provide students in Conestoga’s paramedic, firefighter and policing programs with the opportunity to carry out realistic training scenarios that simulate the conditions they will face when they complete their studies and launch their professional careers. The lab was funded through a $275,000 donation provided by the Motz family: Bill and Doreen, Tom and Liz, and John and Heather.

“A lot of health care is happening before people get to hospitals,” said Tom Motz, who also serves as vice chair of the Board of Trustees for St. Mary’s Hospital. “”The new lab will help EMTs to do the kind of health care we rely on.”

Neil Freckleton, co-ordinator of Conestoga’s Paramedic program, explained that providing students with high level simulation training as part of the education process yields tremendous benefits later on. Realistic emergency simulations help students develop their skills, clinical reasoning and decision-making in a controlled setting. As a result, they have the ability to focus their full attention on patient needs and care when they begin their careers.

The new training space includes a mock ambulance, a large screen wall where a real environment paramedics might encounter in the field is projected, and all the equipment emergency responders would use in the field.

Conestoga president John Tibbits thanked the Motz family for their continued support for the college, and their investment in the future of health care and community services for our region. In addition to the Pre-Hospital Care lab, the family also provided support for the establishment of an Emergency Services Training Bay at Conestoga’s Doon campus as well as the development of the college’s Trades campus in Waterloo.

Marlene Raasok, executive dean of the college’s School of Health & Life Sciences and Community Services, described the Motz gift as a catalyst that inspired additional donations, including a new ambulance and emergency equipment to support student learning.

The Motz Pre-Hospital Care lab completes the vision for experiential learning space within the Cowan Health Sciences Centre at Conestoga, one of Canada’s best health care training facilities. The Centre also includes a real-life apartment setting that allows for in-home care delivery training as well as the Cross Centre for Simulation Learning, where students work with high fidelity mannequins that are used to represent a myriad of health conditions from mild to critical and life-threatening. These human patient simulators have the ability to breathe, blink, show pain, speak, and most importantly, teach.

Conestoga’s School of Health & Life Sciences and Community Services delivers a comprehensive array of career-focused programs that combine theoretical and hands-on learning to support our community’s growing need for individuals with the skills, knowledge and determination to make a difference.

For more information, visit www.conestogac.on.ca/health

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