Melany Boyd, Heart Center nurse educator

Melany Boyd, Heart Center nurse educator

Renovated Odyssey classroom enhances training for cardiac nurses

Throughout Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System, training for caregivers is an ongoing priority.

“We want to invest in nurses so they’ll feel that they can be invested in Spartanburg Regional,” said Heart Center nurse educator Melany Boyd.

That’s why Boyd and other Heart Center leaders are so excited about the newly renovated Odyssey Classroom. Funded by Spartanburg Regional Foundation, the classroom features up-to-date teaching technology, comfortable furniture, and storage for educational materials.

“The room was originally a waiting area that wasn’t used very much,” said Meredith Fortner, director of inpatient cardiology. “Over the years, we pieced things together – a few tables from here, some chairs from there. Now we have a complete overhaul. Our nurses love the space. It looks totally new and top-of-the-line.”

Early funding for the Odyssey Classroom came from a 2010 Spartanburg Regional Foundation grant. The recent renovations were made possible by the Harry M. Leyland Memorial Fund – one among numerous Foundation funds that support education for SRHS nurses and other caregivers.

Fortner said all newly hired cardiac nurses take part in a six-week training course to enhance their training and to help them acclimate to the culture and expectations of the Spartanburg Regional Heart Center.

“It’s all about making sure they have the support they need to take the best possible care of their patients,” Fortner said.

On a recent Tuesday morning, nurse educator Gay Skinner conducted a class on pulmonary artery catheterization. In this technique, a catheter is used to measure pressure in the heart and lungs, helping caregivers make more informed decisions about treatment. The discussion included a hands-on demonstration as well as a multimedia presentation.

“We have always prided ourselves on being the best we can be and providing cutting-edge care, so it’s important to have a space where new employees can learn,” Fortner said.

And that, she believes, is part of what makes Spartanburg Regional a great place to work. As the class on pulmonary artery catheterization was wrapping up, she said the Odyssey Classroom is an example of the commitment the healthcare system demonstrates to associates’ career development.

“It’s impressive to them, and we are so thankful,” Fortner said.

Click here to make a donation to Spartanburg Regional Foundation.