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SPECIAL COVERAGE: Living With Wildfires: San Diego Firestorm 10 Years Later

Nursing Students Test Limits At Grossmont College’s New Health And Science Complex

Grossmont College celebrated the grand opening of a $35-million health and sciences complex today. The two-story building is filled with the latest high-tech equipment, including computerized mannequins for nursing students.

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Grossmont College celebrated the grand opening of a $35-million health and sciences complex today. The two-story building is filled with the latest high-tech equipment, including computerized mannequins for nursing students.

Grossmont nursing students spend a lot of time with patient simulators. The new health and sciences building has a five-bed simulation room and a three-bed intensive care unit.

Grossmont nursing professor Nancy Tendal said students learn how to handle almost any scenario they'll see in a hospital.

"They can get in and do it," Tendal said. "And they're doing it by themselves. And they find out what they know, even maybe more importantly what they don't know, and we can work on those things."

The computerized mannequins simulate a variety of health conditions, including heart attacks.

Grossmont College President Sunny Cooke said the simulators enable students to take things to the limit.

"They can actually kill a patient," Cooke pointed out, "and see the consequences, to think critically about what went wrong, and how could they change that outcome. And you can never accomplish that in any way other than a really live simulation, that is not involving real live patients."

The new health and sciences complex also has a rooftop astronomy lab and a forensic lab for criminal justice students, including a blood spatter room for studying blood stains.

Funding for the complex came from a $207-million bond measure East County voters approved in 2002.

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