Orinda Resident Named Contra Costa Community College Teacher of the Year

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(Contributed Photo)
Dr. Cheri Etheredge poses with the lifelike mannequin used for teaching nursing students in Contra Costa College’s simulation lab.

    Dr. Cheri Etheredge, an Orinda resident for nearly 30 years, was named Teacher of the Year for the Contra Costa Community College District for her work as a nursing instructor. 
    Etheredge spent 28 years teaching pediatric nursing before moving to a new position when Contra Costa College received a grant to buy a high-fidelity mannequin and open a simulation lab in 2009. 
    After receiving additional training in simulation techniques, Etheredge established the lab at Contra Costa College and has been teaching students through hands-on exercises. She recently participated in the program facility’s redesign and remodel, which now consists of two simulation rooms and a 10-bed, fully-equipped skills lab.
    Using a computer to control the simulation mannequin’s vital signs, breath sounds, heart sounds and more, Etheredge is able to guide her students through emergent events that can occur in a hospital setting, but without the risk a student mistake might pose to a real patient.
    Nursing students rotate through the lab each semester, gaining experience with pediatric, maternity, and medical-surgical scenarios. After each simulation, Etheredge leads a discussion reviewing what the students did well and how they could improve. As the students approach graduation, they have the opportunity to participate in a simulation competition that puts their skills to the test. 
     Nominated by CCC Academic Senate President Beth Goehring and CCC Journalism Chair Paul DeBolt, Etheredge was included on a list of nominees for Teacher of the Year in March and was then selected as the winner by a faculty vote. The Teacher of the Year award rotates between the three colleges in the Contra Costa Community College District: Diablo Valley College, Los Medanos and Contra Costa College. 
    “Cheri has touched the lives of thousands of our nursing students for close to four decades with her engaging attitude, high standards, tireless efforts, creative approaches, selfless spirit and admirable patience,” says DeBolt.
    While excited to receive the award, Etheredge said she is even happier for the recognition it brings to CCC’s program. “This is an honor for me but I am really glad that it shines a light on a nursing department that produces new nurses who are knowledgeable and well trained,” she says.
    Etheredge will be honored at an awards dinner in September, as well as at Oakland A’s and San Francisco Giants’ baseball games in May.

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