New Creighton Werner center offers cutting-edge health sciences education

The C.L. and Rachel Werner Center for Health Sciences Education at Creighton University is now open.
Published: Sep. 12, 2023 at 7:04 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Two years ago, Creighton University broke ground to begin construction of the C.L. and Rachel Werner Center for Health Sciences Education.

The center is now complete and students have been learning and training there since August.

Around 6,000 faculty, staff, and students will pass through the 145,000-square-foot facility every day.

“We wanted this to be a building that maximizes learning, student socialization, laboratories, and classrooms,” Creighton President Dr. Daniel S. Hendrickson said. “We achieved it.”

Creighton created an environment where everyone from med students to nurses to pharmacists all work together.

Technology allows students to learn in simulated environments, using mannequins as their classrooms.

“Charlie [the mannequin] is able to move his head a little bit, blink, and look at the students,” Dr. Kandis McCafferty said. “This gives them the opportunity to practice and become very proficient in developing clinical competence.”

The mannequin technology also gives students different looks, with people of color to gain cultural awareness, as well as senior-citizen mannequins that need a different kind of care.

There are also actual operating rooms set up for hands-on training.

“When I have students here, I can teach them a lot about the environment, where to be, where to stand, [understand] the language.”

There are classrooms set up for after-care to help students learn how to care for patients in their homes, once they’re released from the hospital.

They even use virtual reality at times, training in situations such as EMTs preparing to arrive at a scene to care for a patient.

“We’re able to teach them and move them directly into the clinical setting to start to apply those techniques,” Dr. Jenny Jessen said. “It also allows us to increase the volume of what types of scenarios the students are introduced to.”

The technology and the different scenarios not only help Creighton’s health students, but the new facility also helps the community around it.

“A lot of this allows us to actually partner with some of our community and clinical agencies and say, ‘What do you need more of and how can we support that?’”