Educators at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Cleburne say they hope the hospital’s new SimMan 3G patient simulator helps employees fine-tune their motor skills while being presented life-like illnesses.
Wednesday and today, members of the education department took a class on the SimMan and learned hands-on about all it can do. The nearly $80,000 simulator was purchased using funds from the Black & White Gala annual fundraiser which took place in August.
“Starting to use simulation is a big learning curve,” said Karen Howard with SimMan vendor, Laerdal. “When we were in school, we only had jcpenney mannequins that could only move one way. We didn’t have these mannequins with pulses.”
Howard said most doctors and nurses coming out of school have used patient simulators and will expect that when they are hired on at a hospital. Being able to manipulate a human-like mannequin makes a difference when it comes to learning, reaction time and life-saving efforts, she said.
“Your students will come in wanting this,” she said “When the physicians are coming in out of medical school, they are asking ‘What kind of education department do you have?’ because they are used to simulators in medical school.”
SimMan is so advanced, it can be programed to have convulsions, asthma attacks, cry, sweat, bleed and exhibit a host of other medical issues. Through a computer monitor, students receive immediate feedback as to whether they are helping or hurting the patient. A camera also monitors their actions, so teachers can go through scenario with the student after it ends.
“This guy — you can shock him — do all kinds of cardiac intervention,” said Denice Black, nurse manager. “There are built-in scenarios where we will continue to let the patient deteriorate until the student comes back on their own and does something right. When they do the interventions, [the monitor] will tell them if they are right, wrong or indifferent.”
Gender-specific simulations can also be performed, thanks to the SimMan’s interchangeable parts, Black said.
Using an automatic feature on the simulator, Howard said, teachers can either slow down or speed up the process of life-threatening illnesses like asthma. For students who are either fresh out of school or leery of certain procedures, the simulator can exhibit scenarios for all levels and abilities of learners. Scenarios can also be purchased.
Nurse educators taking the class said that they were excited to have the opportunity to be the first to learn about SimMan and assist others with his functions. They said SimMan would be a valid tool in the community to teach CPR and other basic first aid exercises.
Black & White Gala also fund Shots for Tots, Mammograms are a Must! and Know Your PSA, as well as a continued donation to the Healing Outreach Professional Endeavor — or H.O.P.E — clinic. This year, donations will go toward the usual programs and purchase an advanced ultrasound system for the hospital. The system will be used primarily for breast exams as part of Johnson County’s focus on women’s health.
The gala is at 6 p.m. Aug. 3 at the Omni Hotel Fort Worth. Tickets are $175 per person and sponsorship packages are available. For more information, call Lesley Icenogle at 682-236-5249.