Northcentral Technical College
David R. Obey Center for Health Sciences

Advancing patient centered care in the educational environment

Wausau, Wisconsin

At Northcentral Technical College (NTC), the education of future health care professionals is focused on a greater understanding of and appreciation for the growing needs of patients, as well as the important role each healthcare professional plays in caring for those patients. Therefore, when planning for the new Center for Health Sciences began, NTC knew that they would be creating a unique educational environment.

A Visioning Workshop kicked off a collaborative design process that included students, faculty, patients, donors and business partners. Representatives from the local hospital and clinics provided input, minimizing the translation from the educational environment to the real-world health care setting. The new building was designed to promote enhanced collaboration and communication among all nursing, surgery, radiography, emergency medical students and faculty; and in turn, enhance overall patient safety, efficiency and effectiveness. The building’s design serves as a metaphor for “bridging the gap between learning and practice”. Didactic spaces are connected with labs by bridges that span the main lobby. Hospital-grade medical equipment allows students to learn techniques in a mock surgery suite, radiology suite, nursing care wing, and dental suite, replicating real-world patient scenarios. Designed to be cutting-edge, the LEED Silver rated Center for Health Sciences serves as a landmark in the community and as a benchmark for other colleges seeking to improve their health sciences programs. Equipped with a focus on patient care and real-world experience, NTC graduates are filling the demand in the community for health care professionals.

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