Archive for the ‘health occupations’ Category

There’s a new dean on campus

By Barbara Boyd

GROSSMONT COLLEGE — There is a new Dean on campus, but  she is far from being new to the school. Debbie Yaddow who has devoted  21 years to the Grossmont College Nursing program, is now the Dean of  Allied Health and Nursing.

Yaddow related that she “fell” into her career, how she never planned to have it take her this far. She said that she started as a  respiratory therapist, and later on became a nurse once.  Still later she decided to become a teacher, where she could help others learn the nursing profession. “ I  love teaching, because you really make a difference in students’ lives,” she said.

As the Dean her responsibilities are still to students, but in addition she  is “working behind the scenes” on such tasks as securing “the best state-of-the-art equipment, facilities for the students, ” she said.

Even though Dean  Yaddow is not working with the students directly, she said she stills want them to feel  free to come and see her just to say “Hi. ”

She said she will maintain an open door policy for students, explaining:   “It keeps me in a loop of what’s going on in their lives.”

If there is a school-related problem, the students are encouraged to first see their teacher and then their  director of nursing, before coming to her, Yaddow said.  She added that  if she needs to get involved then she  will.

When asked where she will like to go from here, she responded “ I plan on  being here a lot longer.”
Boyd is a student in Media Comm 132.  She may be contacted at

CVT program offers free screenings

GROSSMONT COLLEGE (Press Release)–Students from the cardiovascular technology (CVT) program will provide free screenings for  Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD) from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept.  20, at the Sharp Grossmont Hospital Senior Resource Center, Brier Patch campus,  9000 Wakarusa St., La Mesa. The screenings will test the arterial blood flow to  the legs and blood pressure at the ankles and arms. Symptoms of PAD can include  aching, cramping or pain in your legs after walking or exercising. An  appointment is required for the free screening. To register, call  1-800-827-4277, or visit

Grossmont College’s CVT program,  founded in 1972, was the first to be accredited in the nation and is currently the only CVT program in California to offer all three cardiovascular technology tracks, including vascular, echocardiography and invasive cardiology.  Grossmont’s CVT grads are currently working in more than 90 percent of the available cardiovascular-related jobs in San Diego.

Preceding provided by Grossmont College’s Public Information Office

‘Door Stop On A Stick’ helps the wheelchair-bound


Mike Hanna displays his Door Stop On A Stick (Photo: Robert Sanchez)

Story and photos by Robert Sanchez

GROSSMONT COLLEGE — The Occupational Therapy Association (OTA) held its annual assistive technology show on Tuesday night, Nov. 16, in the health science complex.

Darlene Cook (Photo: Robert Sanchez)

Instructor Darlene Cook assigned students to find clients with disabilities or a hardships, then interview them to learn what some of the main problems were in their lives and how these problems obstructed their abilities to do day-to-day activities. Next they were to invent devices to help clients with those activities, while keeping the cost of the device under $20. Its components should be made of common materials.

Student Mike Hanna encountered a client with a form of cerebral palsy, who had difficulties in his wheelchair going in and out of doors. All too often, the doors would slam on him before he could navigate his chair all the way through the doorway.

In response, Hanna invented the “Door Stop on a Stick.” A device made of  a standard door stop, two foot long wood dowel, rope, glue, and Velcro. It was designed to be jammed into the doorway by the client then withdrawn by a rope after the wheelchair passed through..

The invention cost Hanna $11.25 in materials.  Hanna’s “Door Stop On A Stick” was just one of many inventions that were there at the OTA Annual Assistive Technology show.


Sanchez is a student in Media Comm 132

Commentary: Health science complex totally transforms learning environment

By Kamri Jackson

Kamri Jackson

GROSSMONT COLLEGE– The Ribbon has been cut. The futurist
building is complete; it is official. On Friday, Sept. 17, Grossmont faculty, students, and esteemed guests celebrated the opening of the brand new, “state of the art” Health and Sciences Complex.. Grossmont College President, Dr. Sunita Cooke described the building as “futuristic, functional, and stunning,” during the opening ceremony.

In addition, Cooke stated that the building functions as “a beautiful space to study, explore, and socialize.”

The $35 million futuristic building would not have become reality, if it were not for Proposition R, which was passed in 2002 by East County voters. It took two years from the date of the first groundbreaking,
up to the grand opening to complete. Citizen’s Bond Oversight
Committee chair, Ron Asbury, stated that the change order of construction was 1.5%, which is well below industry standards.” He credited “efficient planning” and “great people.”

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Health-science complex surprisingly high-tech

Ribbon-cutting photo

GROSSMONT COLLEGE (Press Release) – An impressive array of demonstrations of everything from high-tech mannequins filling in as faux patients to a mock crime scene replete with a murder “victim” slumped over a living room sofa capped the grand opening Friday, Sept. 17, of Grossmont College’s new health and sciences complex, almost two years to the day after a groundbreaking ceremony at what was then little more than a large dirt lot.

“I absolutely love this building,” Grossmont College President Sunny Cooke said. “The mixing of education, simulation, training, exploration, research, hands-on learning and technology-intensive experiences is unlike that found in any other building on this campus.”

The lifelike mannequins that are programmed to respond as patients to the prodding of nursing students is but one feature of the facility chockfull of learning labs, each lending its own twist to real-world  instruction. A casting room for the orthopedic technology program. A mock apartment for students in the occupational therapy assistant program.   A blood-spatter room for forensic technology students to analyze blood drops. A laser photography room for bullet trajectory analysis.  A rooftop deck for astronomy students and star-gazers.  Simulated ICU patient stations with ventilators to train respiratory therapy students. Sound booths and a therapy room simulating a clinical setting for students seeking careers as speech-language pathology assistants.

These are among the multiple learning labs inside the $35 million complex, the last completely new building at Grossmont College to be constructed with funds from the 2002 passage of Proposition R, the $207 million facilities bond measure, and state bonds.

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The kind of cuts we like on campus!



GROSSMONT COLLEGE (Press Release) — Deanna Weeks, vice chairman of the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Cuyamaca Community College District, cut the ribbon Friday, Sept. 17 at the new health sciences complex on the Grossmont campus.

The ribbon cutting lineup, from left included:  Cuyamaca College Student Trustee Charles Taylor;  Governing Board Trustee Greg Barr; Chancellor Cindy L. Miles;  Ron Asbury (in dark eye-glasses) who is serving as chair of the Prop. “R” Citizens Bond Oversight Committee; Vice Chairman Weeks;  Grossmont College President Dr. Sunny Cooke, Governing Board Trustee Rick Alexander; Grossmont College Student Trustee Christopher Enders (wearing hat); Governing Board Trustee Mary Kay Rosinski;  Dale Switzer, District Senior Director of Facilities Planning, Development and Maintenance; and Sue Rearic, Vice Chancellor, Business Services.

Preceding provided by Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District.  Photo by Stephen Harvey.

Hi-tech hospital simulations enhance nursing study at Grossmont

GROSSMONT COLLEGE (Press Release) — Vanessa Cordova, newly hired nurse at Sharp Grossmont Hospital, quickly assesses the situation.

A 46-year-old patient, J. Smith, had been admitted after collapsing at home and losing consciousness. A heart patient, Smith is hooked up to a monitor, looking pale, but otherwise resting calmly while Cordova, the incoming day nurse, begins her morning assessment, studying his medical chart and taking his blood pressure. Also in the room are Smith’s wife, a second nurse and a certified nurse’s assistant, who is busy cleaning the patient and readying him for breakfast.

Suddenly, the patient complains about his heart racing and the monitor confirms a dangerously fast heart rhythm. Moments later, his breathing becomes labored and the monitor now shows his heartbeat has become weak and irregular.

Recognizing the perilous situation, Cordova calls for a “Code Blue” team, hailed in instances of cardiac arrest, and begins CPR. Smith’s wife is ushered away from the bed, a charge nurse arrives to further survey the scene, and the room is now abuzz with activity. Moments later the Code Blue team arrives, a defibrillator is engaged, the familiar call of “clear” preceding each shock of the heart.

Despite the team’s attempts to revive Smith, the flat line of the monitor refuses to budge and after the doctor’s muted consultation with the nurses, then the spouse, all activity ceases and a time of death is called.

What, for all appearances seemed like an actual hospital room was, in fact, a high-tech simulation lab inside Grossmont College’s recently completed $35 million health and science complex, with a lifelike computerized mannequin, or SimMan, filling in as patient Smith.

Recently, a corps of about 35 brand-new nurses, along with a crew of veteran nurses charged with a two-week orientation of the mostly 20-ish women and men in the protocols of Sharp Grossmont Hospital, spent a day at the college for a few hours of training and putting what they had spent the past few years learning in nursing school, into practical use.

Debbie Yaddow,  the college’s associate dean of nursing, said Grossmont’s simulation labs with their half-dozen patient simulators have been used for the past year by Grossmont, Alvarado and Scripps-Memorial hospitals, but last week’s contingent of trainees was the largest ever and the first to use the sparkling new labs inside the Health and Science Complex, the latest Grossmont College project made possible by the 2002 passage of the $207 million facilities bond measure — Proposition R — and state bond funds.

The nursing program now has a three-bed “intensive care unit,” a five-bed simulation lab and three regular labs, which also are used for classroom instruction.  All have video capability.

“This facility is fabulous because you can run five different scenarios at one time without any disruption – at the old building, there was room only to do one and so the groups had to each wait their turn,” Yaddow said. “There is a lot more space, plus better recording equipment for instructors and trainees to review how they performed in the scenarios. We even now have a wireless mannequin which, unlike the others, is not connected to a bunch cables. It can be transported and procedures such as turning patients and moving them onto gurneys can be practiced, since there’s no wiring to contend with.”

Grossmont College President Sunita “Sunny” Cooke said the college welcomes the opportunity to share its state-of-the–art facility with local hospitals.

“I am very pleased that we can make the lab available to them at this time,” she said. “Opening it for their training reflects our appreciation for the clinical placements they provide our nursing students to fulfill their degree requirements and for their other support also, including equipment donations. Our partnerships with them are invaluable.”

Jennifer Smith, who graduated in June 2010 from Grossmont College’s nursing program and was among the new nurses, said she was excited to return to the college to see the new facility which has its official grand opening Sept. 17.

“It’s incredible, the amount of room you have, and the equipment is great – I just wish I was still at Grossmont (College) so that I would get to be a student using this new facility,” said the 28-year-old East County native, adding that the 2 1/2 years she waited to get into Grossmont College’s highly regarded nursing program was well worth the effort.”I am so glad I chose Grossmont College to get my nursing degree — the support from the teachers, the fact that the class sizes aren’t too bad, and the learning opportunities available here.”

As the nurses broke into small groups to make the rounds of the four scenarios set up for the day’s hands-on learning, Gennie Reil, a Grossmont Hospital nursing specialist and one of the trainers, explained that the purpose of the day’s experience was to familiarize the new hires in the hospital protocols when dealing with “Code Blue” situations, and when calling for assistance of the rapid-response team.

“This is an opportunity for you to practice the protocols before you have to do it at the hospital,” she told the nurses, who were each given a role to play in the 20-40-minute scenarios, from the primary nurse, the nurse’s assistant, the  family member, the charge nurse and others.

The medical mannequins, like the SimMan models Grossmont first began using in 2001, have been refined over the past decade, thanks to computer software advances and improved engineering that allow the lifelike devices to simulate an even wider range of bodily functions and reactions to the poking and prodding by students and nurses.  Not only can they blink, drool, bleed, breath and urinate, the latest models, equipped with integrated speakers, can speak and emit realistic heart, lung and bowel sounds. In short, the mannequins have become much more lifelike in their responses to procedures such as cardiopulmonary resuscitation, intravenous medication, intubation, ventilation, and catheterization.  Technicians operate them from inside a control booth via laptops and software that can mimic reactions to medical and nursing procedures.

With its $190,000 slice of a federal omnibus bill signed last March, Grossmont College added to its stable of patient simulators and purchased digital cameras and recording equipment to monitor and record users for training and debriefings. Lab technicians Pat Murray and Dan Lopez used last week’s scenarios to work out the bugs in the recording equipment before the fall semester begins Aug. 23.

In addition to the nursing simulation labs, the health and sciences complex is chockfull of simulation labs and training areas for other health professions and science-related programs the college has to offer:

  • Health professions programs –speech-language pathology assistant, orthopedic technology, cardiovascular technology, respiratory therapy, and occupational therapy assistant
  • Forensic technology, a program in the administration of justice department
  • Physics, astronomy and physical science

Besides the nursing simulation labs, the facility features a casting room for the orthopedic technology program; a mock apartment for students in the occupational therapy assistant program; a blood-spatter room for forensic technology students to analyze blood drops; a laser photography room for bullet trajectory analysis; a rooftop deck for astronomy students and star-gazers; a simulated ICU patient station with ventilators to train respiratory therapy students, and more.

With the Health and Science Complex now completed, next on the Prop. R agenda are the Grossmont College Student and Administrative Services/Griffin Center Renovation due for completion in winter 2011, and the expansion and remodel of Cuyamaca College’s library, expected to be completed this summer.

Preceding provided by Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District