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MTC Practical Nursing instructor Kelley Wingate, left, leads students Robyn Tillman, Jessi Faulkner, Lauren Cox and Brooke Henson in a simulated ‘Code Blue’ situation during an open house Wednesday at the new Health Sciences building.

Officials hailed the opening of Moultrie Technical College’s Health Sciences building as a culmination of 20 years of planning.

Wednesday’s ribbon cutting ceremony drew a wry comment from Commissioner Ron Jackson of the Technical College System of Georgia: “The building was half-built when we broke ground, and we’ve been in it since May when we cut the ribbon (today),” he said.

Present at the event was President Emeritus Michael Moye, under whose leadership the first buildings were placed on Moultrie Tech’s Veterans Parkway campus. The school’s current president, Tina Anderson, noted that four buildings are planned for the site, of which Health Sciences is the third.

“Today’s grand opening and ribbon cutting represent almost two decades from the time that then-President Mike Moye and members of the community first dreamed of establishing Moultrie Technical College in its new location on Veterans Parkway to today’s realization of a state-of-the-art Health Sciences Building,” Anderson said. “Students now have one of the greatest facilities in the state with automated simulation labs that prepare them for real life situations in the medical field. This facility belongs to the communities served by Moultrie Technical College and will enhance the medical training for our students.”

The $9.5 million, 46,000-square-foot facility offers state-of-the-art training equipment. Students demonstrated some of it during tours after the ribbon cutting.

John Bruns, who will graduate with a medical assisting degree in August, showed visitors how students learn to draw blood by using a computerized “arm” to practice on. Students must score 90 on the computer simulation before they can practice on a real person, he said.

The demonstration took place in a classroom area designed like a doctor’s office — which is where medical assisting graduates will work. It has a check-in desk and three examining rooms.

“I’ve been to many other technical colleges with SkillsUSA, and this is the most state-of-the-art building I’ve ever been in,” Bruns said.

The building houses classes for the emergency medical technician, medical assisting, neuromuscular therapist, patient care assistant, practical nursing and radiologic technology programs. There is additional space available to add one more allied health program in the future.

Also during the celebration Wednesday, the building’s simulation laboratory was named in honor of Colquitt Regional Medical Center for its ongoing support.

“Nobody has a facility like this except us,” bragged Anderson, who leaves soon to become president of Wiregrass Technical College in Valdosta. She indicated that buildng a Health Sciences facility on that campus was a priority once she gets there.

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