By Steve Koehler
The latest state-of-the-art medical mannequin is helping Allied Health students at Ozarks Technical Community College prepare for the real thing — helping human beings.
The newest mannequin, known as the Sim Man 3G, is being used by Nursing, Respiratory Therapy and Paramedic programs to help students improve their techniques in everything from patient assessment to emergency treatment before working with real patients. It brings to three the number of mannequins the college has for health training.
“Since the human patient simulator can demonstrate a wide variety of conditions, the Sim Man could be a patient with a nervous system disorder such as epilepsy or meningitis, a cardiac patient with chest pain or hypertension, a pulmonary patient with chronic bronchitis or pneumonia,” said Stephen Bishop, dean of the Allied Health program.
The mannequin, which can produce blood, sweat and tears, can be programmed to present cases that range from fairly straightforward for beginning students to much more complicated health issues for our advanced students.
In addition, staff and other students can role-play the parts of family members and other healthcare personnel to make the situations more realistic for the students.
“A simulation scenario allows for dealing with family, physicians and others in as realistic of an environment as possible. At the end of each scenario, students are debriefed about their experience,” said Michelle Howard, Simulations Lab Coordinator.
Bishop said using the mannequin allows instructors to adjust the difficulty level for students to improve their critical-thinking skills, give students a wide range of patient care situations and give students extremely realistic practice in a safe environment.
“Emergency or critical situations are very stressful and the patient is the primary concern, so sometimes students get shuffled over to the side of the room while the other health professionals handle the situation,” Bishop said.
“In the simulated environment, the students are in the middle of the stressful situation and must decide how to deal with it themselves. If they make a mistake, they can see the actual consequences.”
Next week, Howard will begin looking at other simulation labs at various community colleges and universities to find ways to incorporate a simulation lab for surgical tech, dental, occupational therapy and physical therapy programs.
“Few schools in either the state or nationally utilize simulation with multidisciplinary programs like we are doing at OTC. We are working to be on the cutting edge with the new lab,” Howard said.
Steve Koehler is coordinator of publications at Ozarks Technical Community College. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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