HCA Houston Healthcare - September 08, 2021

HCA Houston Healthcare recently opened the doors to its simulation and training center in Pearland designed to empower and support nurses through innovative learning experiences and clinical education. The HCA Healthcare Center for Clinical Advancement is a 48,400-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility that houses high-fidelity hospital simulation rooms, mid-fidelity simulation labs, connected classrooms and debriefing rooms.

The two-story facility is nestled in the Pearland Town Center and it is one of the ways HCA Healthcare is showing its commitment to supporting its nurses and providing education and development resources so they can continue to excel. The center will help the health system’s nearly 7,000 nurses and other clinicians feel confident and competent in patient care situations by offering training on best practices and sharing expertise in simulation environments.

“This new, state-of-the-art building serves as visual representation of HCA Healthcare’s commitment to providing the education and training needed to recruit as well as retain talented individuals,” says Troy Villarreal, HCA Healthcare Gulf Coast Division president. “As the largest healthcare system in the country and one of the leading providers of healthcare in Houston, we know that improving the lives of patients rests in the knowledge and experience of highly-qualified caregivers who have a calling to serve our community.”

Investing in standardized nurse training

The center’s first floor is dedicated to clinical training and will be where our StaRN nurses will gain invaluable, hands-on experience before they move into full-time roles at an HCA Houston Healthcare facility. Our StaRN nurses go through a six-week intensive program that helps improve their technical skills for things like catheter and IV insertion, Meditech EHR training that includes access to a supply room where they learn how to check out medical supplies, patient-simulation, as well as a week of training at an HCA Houston Healthcare facility.

Our mid-fidelity simulation labs provide realistic training opportunities for our nurses to rotate through various stations where they learn and perform procedures such as IV insertions, injections, tracheostomy suctioning and Foley catheter insertions.

The high-fidelity simulation rooms resemble real hospital rooms and includes interactive patient manikins operated from a control room. Instructors are able to mimic real-life interactions that help our nurses improve their technical and interpersonal skills. The manikins have heart beats; their chests move up and down when breathing; their eyelids blink, and there is even a pregnant manikin that simulates the labor and delivery process.

Following a simulation experience, our nurses are able to meet in a debriefing room to review footage of their encounters and identify errors and discuss ways to improve upon these mistakes during future patient interactions. These instructor-guided discussions improve performance and ultimately provide patients with a better experience and outcomes.

As a leader in providing healthcare in Houston, HCA Houston Healthcare’s new center will help standardize training across the health system's 13 Houston-area hospitals, outpatient surgery centers, freestanding emergency centers and freestanding diagnostic imaging facilities where approximately one million patients are cared for every year.

"Bringing the latest teaching technologies under one roof in a new, advanced facility is a major step in preparing our nurses to provide the highest level of care," says Kelli Nations, chief nurse executive at HCA Houston Healthcare.

Focusing on organizational development

The second floor training center serves as a hub for all HCA Houston Healthcare new hire orientation, the division's leadership and organizational development training and professional development programs. The nine classrooms can hold up to 470 people and each room is divided by partitions and includes white boards, projectors, cameras for presentations and large screens. The advanced technology will facilitate education and training opportunities for colleagues working in locations across the HCA Healthcare Gulf Coast Division, which includes facilities in Corpus Christi and South Texas.

Each floor has a mother’s room, or lactation space that is a comfortable, quiet area for nursing mothers. The first and second floor each have a small conference room that can accommodate up to 14 people and have privacy shades that can be used when necessary.

“We look forward to the thousands of people who will come through these doors for training and advancement,” says Kevin Cole, mayor for the City of Pearland. “It is good to see an organization, like HCA Houston Healthcare, that values training, certification and advancement. It means you invest back into your people and makes them more valuable and want to stay to be a part of it. If the City of Pearland is a little bit a part of that, we’re happy to be along the way.”