McAuley School of Nursing Simulation Lab receives updates
This fall, the McAuley School of Nursing welcomed one additional computerized patient-simulation manikin (human patient simulator) and two lower fidelity adult birthing manikins to the Simulation Suite. One adult manikin is a pregnant mom. In this lab, students simulate a real labor and delivery situation. The mom's stomach unsnaps to reveal that she is equipped with a full-term baby manikin. Students experience conditions that involve the placement of the umbilical cord, which could be wrapped around the baby's neck. Instructors also can change the positions of the baby to challenge students with circumstances surrounding these delivery complications.
"The bed even drops down so the manikin can actually simulate labor," says Suzanne Guzelaydin, Coordinator Simulation Practice Technology Integration Center. "Students go through all of the birthing aspects in this lab. We have the scenarios run positively but then show the variety of different delivery presentations or complications that can arise during the birthing process."
The other two arrivals to the lab include a high fidelity infant who resides in the hospital crib next to the pregnant mom and another infant who turns "blue," which means it is suffering from a variety of health problems. According to Guzelaydin, all of the components of the new laboring mom lab will be ready for students by the Winter 2010 semester when final electronic technology installation will be complete to run it.
Additionally, the junior level curriculum for this lab will be ready by January 2010 as well. The curriculum is currently being developed and will include issuing the juniors and the clinical faculty an iPod/iTouch device that will be loaded with point-of-care reference resources on the platform Skyscape. They will use the program, "Nursing Constellation Plus," to access references quickly during interaction with the patient simulation manikin and in patient interactions during students' clinical rotations.
The federally-funded Simulation Technology Electronic-Informatics Preparatory System (STEPS) program provides students with real-time healthcare experiences that assist them in critically thinking to determine the care for the simulated patient who is programmed with a healthcare diagnosis and is fully interactive with them. The simulated patient can talk with the students, answering their questions, and is programmed with all the cardiac, respiratory and bowel sounds a person would have. The simulated patient also has pulses, blood pressure, inflatable lungs and intravenous access. The class becomes a medical team taking turns providing the care a student nurse would give during a clinical experience.
Colleges are not the only institutions using patient simulation labs. Hospitals across the country and in metro Detroit have installed them for ongoing skills training and team-building purposes with their hospital staffs.
"Having access to a patient simulation lab is a very powerful learning opportunity for students," says Guzelaydin.
Center's renovations under study
Discussions continue on the renovations to the Maureen A. Fay O.P. Center for Phase II of the simulation lab project. Guzelaydin has discovered that the market for campus simulation labs is becoming more competitive, which is creating more budget-friendly choices.
"The price of human patient simulators has come down," says Guzelaydin. "And there are mobile and more flexible ways to set up the Center."
Armed with these latest findings, the UDM/CHP project team is continuing to explore the best possible design, layout and equipment for this important space.