WCC Health Professions Education Center

  • Location: Bellingham, WA
  • Client: Whatcom Community College Foundation
  • Size: 28,000 SF

The 28,000-square-foot building brings together under one roof four of the College’s high-demand programs – Nursing, Medical Assisting, Physical Therapist Assistant and Massage Practitioner. Hands-on laboratories have been designed for each program, providing students with spaces that simulate real-life situations such as doctors’ offices, hospital rooms, emergency rooms and intensive care units. High-fidelity mannequins in the nursing lab provide realistic training experiences for upper level students.

Hands-on learning environments were designed for each program. The Massage Therapy program space includes dimmable lights, music system and re-configurable table layouts for individual practice and group teaching. The Physical Therapy room simulates a hospital rehab program including mat tables, ceiling-suspended lifts, and open space for exercise equipment. The Medical Assisting lab space was designed to resemble a typical physician’s office. A reception desk and waiting area are near the entry, for practice in relating to patients. Within the program space rooms simulating an exam room, procedure room, and pediatric exam room are included as well as general instruction spaces. A lab was designed, complete with phlebotomy chair and microscopes, as well as small lab supplies and kits.

The Nursing program occupies the entire second floor of the building and incorporates the latest instructional technology. Each nursing cohort (first-year, second-year) has its own classroom/lab space, containing twenty hospital beds with simulated head-walls, in curtained cubicles. A med-dispensary area with computerized scanning capability is also provided. Between the two classrooms are four “High-fidelity Sim Rooms.” Each room was designed to simulate an ICU patient room, except that the patient is an extremely high-tech “dummy” which is controlled by an instructor on the other side of a one-way mirror.

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