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      Grant gives new opportunities to nursing students

      LEXINGTON COUNTY (WACH) --- Kayla Watkins is a nursing student at Midlands Technical College.

      The 21 year old is getting hands-on experience at school working with high tech simulators.

      The simulators can be programmed to have different symptoms, giving students a chance to experience situations they'll face daily as a nurse.

      "You can never anticipate what you're going to see on a clinical day and to be able to practice that kind of thing on not a real person is just really helpful. It calms your nerves cause you're more prepared." says Watkins.

      Watkins says working with the simulators is no different than a real person.

      The breathing and heart beats sound the same , the pulse feels the same and everything is located in the same places as a living person.

      "To be able to program it to be high blood pressure or low blood pressure, you get to hear and see kinda what happens to patients." says Watkins.

      "They build that confidence so when we do take them into the clinical settings it's not they're very first time ever touching a patient." says clinical instructor Lindsay Coppney.

      A new grant is helping Midlands Technical College pay for the devices.

      The school is part of six colleges in South Carolina, North Carolina and Alabama receiving 25 million dollars from the Department of Labor and Training Administration.

      The trade school will get more than 8 million dollars, and will use that money to fast track displaced workers towards entry level health care jobs.

      "They're going to go out in the field for their first job and be very confident, this will definitely put them above the rest." says Coppney