Nursing students use mannequins for simulation training

Posted at 5:17 PM, Feb 01, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-01 18:31:18-05

Nursing students at McLennan Community College are using some very realistic mannequins in the Health Professions Simulation Lab for training. 

"This is the second semester we've had full-time faculty, specifically for the Sim Lab," said Tiffany Marty, MSN RN lead for the simulation team at MCC.

These mannequins are not the ones you see at the mall. They range from $20,000 to $100,000 and serve a much greater purpose.

Students in the nursing program at MCC spend four semesters working with their mannequin patients that are programmed by course instructors.

"We do a bit of everything. We learn how to talk to our patients, how to introduce ourselves, how to enter a room,"  said Morgan Hallman, a Level Four nursing student at MCC. "We basically learn everything we would in a hospital, just in a safer environment."

Each simulation is based off what the students are learning each semester. Today, the focus was time management.

"We did have one patient with a CVA  and we have one patient with pneumonia and their task was to prioritize," said Marty. "Who do you see first? What medications are more important?"

The mannequins are able to make breathing sounds and bowel sounds. They also have pulses and can be programmed with certain syringes to react to different types of medication.

"It's really amazing when you put your stethoscope to a mannequins chest and you can hear breath sounds," said Hallman.

The instructors are even able to serve as the mannequin's voice or use its programmed responses.

"We also have a birthing mother that actually births and she is pretty amazing," said Marty.

Marty said this lab gives students a safe space to make mistakes as they learn how to save lives in the real world.

"Our scenarios are completely different here," said Hallman. "We get to learn a great deal of information that we otherwise wouldn't have learned in the hospital."

There are about 20 mannequins in the lab.

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