Every nursing students’ nightmare: ‘I’ll do it wrong and someone will die.’ Now at Western Nevada College students will have an extra edge in decision making skills along with ‘hands on’ experience.
A_gift from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) and Nevada State College (NSC) schools of nursing, recently donated computerized manikins, estimated at more than $42,000, for the use of students from UNLV, NSC, along with the Nevada School of Medicine, for use at the Clinical Simulation Center of Las Vegas.
The manikins, a male and a pregnant female, with fetus, will be used in conjunction with WNC’s other simulation manikins. The donated manikins are special as they can ‘interact’ with the students. From another room, instructors control the vital sign simulator and can speak into to a microphone which is then heard from the mouth of the manikin. Students then respond accordingly to symptoms the ‘patient’ describes and vital sign monitor exhibits.
The learning experience provided by these interactive computerized manikins is as close to ‘real life’ as possible. It can be compared to an active emergency room where every decision counts. The pregnant female manikin can communicate the intensity of her contractions and with a creative instructor ‘she’ can communicate that intensity in the colorful detail of real life. Other common emergency situations simulated are heart attack, shortness of breath, choking and shock.
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Dr. Judith Cordia, WNC Division Chair of Nursing and Allied Health, states, “It allows our students to better understand and carry out the safe care of patients. It’s as real an environment as possible. We can simulate an emergency room setting where if the nurse does not treat the symptoms properly, the patient can ‘die’. It can be an emotional, visceral experience in a lifelike scenario that helps students make the transition from theory to lab and from lab to actual care in a hospital.”
Western Nevada College has 85 first and second year students who will utilize and benefit from these new high-tech manikins. Cordia indicates the simulators will be employed for various teaching venues, for instance, the medical/surgical skills unit and in maternal/child, labor and delivery.