Photo courtesy of Gaumard
Victoria is actually a new computerized mannequin that can simulate a live birth, as well as the symptoms of a wide variety of other medical issues, to help train nursing students. She was purchased from Gaumard Scientific Company for $70,875 through funding provided by ASU’s Hispanic Serving Institution Title V Grant from the U.S. Department of Education.
“Victoria is just so much better than what we had,” said Paul Osmanski, assistant clinical professor. “We still use the mannequin she replaced in static labs, but Victoria is much more advanced and can do more and better simulations. Plus, the infant that she delivers is much more realistic than anything we’ve ever had before.”
“We also have another more versatile infant mannequin, Baby Hal, which is like a newborn baby from birth to maybe two months old,” he added. “The students use Baby Hal for practicing their assessments, nursing procedures and medication administration.”
In addition to Victoria, her newborn and Baby Hal, the “Sim Lab” features an adult mannequin dubbed Sim Man 3G and two unnamed pediatric mannequins that simulate children from about 4–6 years of age. They are set up in four fully equipped “hospital rooms” that are also outfitted with the same state-of-the-art monitors, IV pumps, beds and other equipment found in actual emergency, intensive care, nursery, and labor and delivery rooms. Nursing instructors program the mannequins to display various symptoms and oversee the nursing care scenarios from the other side of a mirrored viewing glass. They even speak to the students through the mannequins.
“We can simulate new birth and delivery, pediatric traumas and teenage issues,” Osmanski said. “We also run our students through common adult situations like heart attacks, strokes and trauma victims on ventilators who can’t talk. We also have simulations that focus on geriatric care. So we pretty much do scenarios from birth to the grave.”
The scenarios are also videotaped so students can perform self-evaluations during their debriefing sessions with instructors.
“In some nursing schools they don’t use video during debriefing,” Osmanski said. “Our students told us they felt the video review enhanced several areas of patient care, including teamwork, communication, medication administration and safety.”
“I have not seen another Sim Lab this nice at other universities our size, and I’ve been to many different labs.”
First opened in 2007, the Sim Lab has grown from four mannequins to seven and also has updated audio/visual capabilities. About 150 nursing students utilize the lab every semester, and they all go through the lab three to four times during different clinical rotations. The biggest advantage of having such an advanced lab is the ability to let students practice in a larger variety of situations they may or may not see in their training rotations at local hospitals.
“Heart attack and heart disease is the No. 1 killer in America,” Osmanski said, “but our students might go through the ER during their clinical rotation without caring for a heart attack patient. So, every one of our students gets to take care of a heart attack patient in the Sim Lab. It’s also a more controlled environment, so the students can practice all types of assessment and practical skills before they go out to care for live patients.”
And it is not only ASU nursing students who get extra training in the Sim Lab. For the last several years, obstetrics/gynecology nurses from San Angelo Community Medical Center have trained for rare labor and delivery issues in the lab accompanied by their doctors. This will also be the second year that nurses and paramedics who fly on Shannon Medical Center’s AirMed helicopter will train for various trauma scenarios in the ASU lab.
“I have not seen another Sim Lab this nice at other universities our size,” Osmanski said, “and I’ve been to many different labs. ASU is doing really well in this area.”