Expansions to Health and Science Programs Pay Off for Students

New Facilities Offer State-of-the-Art Training and Real World Medical Skills

Marist School of Science Building. Photo by Sophia Brana '17.Everyone walks by it, but not everyone knows what is inside Marist’s new Allied Health and Science building. Built last year, the structure is home to the college’s current and proposed science and health programs, including the already existing undergraduate programs in Biology, Biomedical Science, Medical Laboratory Sciences, and Athletic Training as well as two new graduate programs.

The Allied Health building was developed in response to the growing demand for degrees in healthcare. A 2012 study by Georgetown University predicted:

"Between 2010 and 2020, healthcare occupations will increase from 10.1 million to 13.1 million jobs. From 2010 to 2020, healthcare production will increase by over 70 percent, from $1.8 trillion to $3.1 trillion. In the same period, there will be an estimated 5.6 million healthcare job vacancies."

Structurally, the building includes four levels and a "green" (environmentally sustainable) roof, but what makes the space truly unique is the technology available in the labs. On the lower level, the building’s simulation lab gives students an experience almost as close to real life as they can get. With an assortment of simulation mannequins that can be programmed to demonstrate a range of illnesses and ailments, students are able to learn skills for treating patients as well as working in hospital environments with other professionals. In addition to adult and child mannequins, there are also several mother and infant mannequins to give students experience with pregnancy complications.  

Marist School of Science lab. Photo by Sophia Brana '17.There are also a number of exam rooms in the building where live “patients” follow a script including a chief complaint and list of symptoms for students to practice real-life interactions with patients. Students are then graded based on a rubric filled out by the “patient” about their experience as well as their medical knowledge.

Since the building has opened, high school classes have visited to experience the lab technology. An athletic training class from Croton High School joined Marist students as simulation specialist Rob Scott used the mannequins to organize a soccer injury scenario for students to practice with.

Though the simulation lab is a resource for graduate students in the Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies program, Scott has said he hopes it also inspires prospective students to consider Marist, as the college has exponentially improved its science and health facilities in the past year and that it prompts students to investigate the healthcare professions as a viable course of study and career option.

Scott said that the new building also gives Marist an advantage within the region, as the Hudson Valley is home to many hospitals and other healthcare centers, yet many of the schools in the area do not offer health science degrees. The new facilities and new programs at Marist put the college at an advantage over other comparable schools in the region.

Marist School of Science lab. Photo by Sophia Brana '17.The growth of Marist’s science and health programs are a draw for potential students to consider as well as current undergraduate students who plan to pursue their education at the graduate level. Marist’s Physician’s Assistant graduate program and proposed Doctorate of Physical Therapy program appeal to current undergraduates who do not need to look any further than their own institution for high-quality education and state of the art facilities. Whether students use the labs or not, they can be proud to attend a college that is making strides in improving and supporting healthcare services in the region.

Marist is also keeping up with the latest advances in medical educational technology in order to give students the best possible preparation for real-life situations. Scott said that years ago, medical students had much less hands-on experience before graduating and being thrown into a working environment. He said that now, students who have had the opportunity to train in the new labs should feel confident when presented with real-life health emergencies. Said Scott, "when faced with a problem, we want the students to not only be able to say, 'I’ve seen this before,' but be able to say, 'I’ve seen this before and I know what to do.'”

Written by  Sophia Brana '17

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