Nursing students to benefit from new simulator

March 21, 2013


News Editor


Palpable pulses, bowel sounds and reactive pupils are only three functions of the new CAE Healthcare METIman High Fidelity Adult Manikin.


The Tech division of nursing received the new high fidelity simulator in December, Nancy Darland, holder of the Virginia Pennington professorship, said. It was paid for by the student technology fee board grant, she added.


The simulator is an electronic model that looks like a real-life patient, and has software installed that allows it to breathe, blink and even talk, Darland said.


“It is like a mannequin, but it is computerized and electronic,” Darland said. “The students walk in [to the stimulation lab] and see the hospital bed, there is not just a plastic doll.”


She said the mannequin blinks its eyes and it breathes. Also, there is a control room in the simulation lab, which is set up like a hospital room, in which the mannequin can be controlled, Darland added.


“The operator is behind the one-way mirror where we can see the students but they can not see us,” she said. “The operator can talk from behind the mirror and it projects like the voice is coming from the mannequin.”


Ultimately, Darland said the mannequin simulates a real-life patient in a hospital setting and allows the students to gain hands-on experience and practice outside of clinicals without ramifications.


Students like Morgan Hammons, a junior nursing major, love working with the simulator.


“It is great hands-on practice,” she said. “It gives us a chance to be put in situations that we might not get a chance to experience in a real clinical setting.”


Hammons, said it also allows the students to develop team-building skills and allows them to test their skills in various situations.


“It is an amazing learning device,” she said. “We are prepared no matter what we are given in a real hospital setting when we graduate.”


One major benefit of the simulator is the students’ ability to make mistakes on a mannequin and not injure humans, Hammons said.


“It allows us to make mistakes and see why they are wrong so in real-life settings we can act with confidence,” she said. “We know the right steps to take to better help our patients and provide the safest care for them.”


She said her favorite thing is the situations the mannequin and its operators put them in.


“They do not hold back,” Hammons said. “They make sure every skill is tested and that we are doing it the right way.”


Darland said having mannequins creates a patient care environment in a laboratory setting that makes students more comfortable in clinicals.


“The students benefit the most from the simulator,” she said. “We have seven clinical classes and the mannequin is used all the way from the beginning of the quarter until they graduate.”


This is the second simulator Tech has received, Darland added. The first one was received in 2005 and does not have the technology that the new one possesses.


“We have seen a lot of improvements in the features from the old one to the new one,” she said. “The old one has all these cords that we have to hide under the covers and try not to trip over.”


The new one is tetherless, Darland said, and it is operated remotely.


“It can even be taken places, like if you want to simulate a disaster you could move him somewhere else,” she said. “The gender of it can also be changed.”


She said all the student comments about the simulator have been positive and they indicated they enjoy and appreciate the experience.


“It is a wonderful opportunity for us to have the simulator,” Darland said. “Many schools have the simulator so if we didn’t, we would be considered behind, so we are extremely grateful.”


Email comments to kjk016@latech.edu.



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