Florida SouthWestern State College students are being prepared to fulfill the needs of the Collier County community in ways you would never expect. The college’s School of Health Professions has programs on all three of its campuses. In Naples students train in stateof-the-art facilities like the Simulation Education Center and the North Naples Fire Training Center. Both hands-on programs are utilized by faculty and students to provide a real-world education. Once students finish their respective programs, they have the skills and knowledge to immediately enter the workforce.
Graduating nurses at FSW complete their clinical education by using manikins to simulate issues patients may experience. Pediatric Hal, for instance, can be programmed to have seizures, asthma attacks, and other emergencies, while a manikin named Noelle can give birth to a critical care baby. Changing medical conditions and the accompanying symptoms that these manikins exhibit are all controlled by a computer and can be changed with a few quick keystrokes.
“We are providing a structured environment where students can apply what they’ve learned in the classroom to treat a patient,” said Dr. Marie Collins, dean of the FSW School of Health Professions. “When they graduate they are better prepared to help a diverse group of patients.”
Between clinical rotations in the simulation center and local hospitals, students gain valuable perspectives on how to treat children, adults, entire families and even patients from various ethnic and cultural backgrounds. Those undergoing rotations may be studying Cardiovascular Technology, Respiratory Care, Radiologic Technology or Nursing. Graduates from FSW are well-known and respected for the training they receive at the college.
For instance, FSW’s Cardiovascular Technology and Respiratory Care students have a 90 percent pass rate on the state license exam and Southwest Florida reaps that benefit as a majority of the graduates are placed in local jobs. With one of the only cardiovascular catheterization laboratories in the nation, graduates of the Cardiovascular Technology program are also highly sought after by prospective employers.
The School of Health Professions also offers degree programs in Emergency Medical Services, which includes emergency medical technicians, paramedics and firefighters. The North Naples Fire Training Facility, located at the North Collier Fire Control and Rescue District’s Station 45, is certified by the state to train new firefighters. FSW students get the opportunity to gear up and learn life-saving techniques in the center’s fire tower and burn room.
“When it comes to emergency services there is no better way to train first responders than in stressful situations,” said Joseph Washburn, Emergency Service Programs Director. “That’s why our fire science students train at the North Naples Fire Training Facility and why the college purchased an ambulance for our paramedic trainees to use in their classes.”
The FSW Collier Campus is home to the Naples Children and Education Foundation (NCEF) Pediatric Dental Center, a 20,000 square-foot facility servicing children under the age of 21. “The University of Florida and the Healthcare Network of Southwest Florida partnered with FSW to provide dental care to thousands of underserved children and the facility opened to the public in 2008.
The number of health degrees conferred at FSW increases each year. In 2014-2015 the college conferred a total of 100 bachelor’s degrees, 334 associate’s degrees and 201 certificates in the School of Health Professions, many of them highly-skilled graduates now working in the Southwest Florida region, saving lives and contributing to the local economy. For more information on the FSW School of Health Professions, visit www.fsw.edu/sohp.