Path Home Shows 2011 Show Archive April 2011 Show 1115 SimMan


New medical technology in the classroom is giving Oklahoma students some hands-on experience, even if it is not flesh and blood.

SimMan, training dummie

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Northwest Technology Center

Show Dates

Show 1115: SimMan

Air date: April 10, 2011



Rob McClendon:  Well, new medical technology in the classroom is giving Oklahoma students some hands-on experience, even if it is not on flesh and blood.  Here’s our Courtenay DeHoff to explain.

Courtenay DeHoff:  Many nursing students in rural Oklahoma have to travel to Tulsa and Oklahoma City to complete their clinicals.  But, new technology is making it possible to do it in small towns all across Oklahoma.

[sounds of mannequin moaning and coughing]

Courtenay:  He sounds like a patient.  He looks like a patient.  And he reacts like a patient.  Meet SimMan.

[sounds of mannequin moaning and coughing]

Tara Thomas:  It’s the closest thing out there to a real patient without practicing on a real patient.  Does that make sense?

Courtenay:  Tara Thomas is the Health Director at Northwest Technology Center.

Tara:  We’re going to get introduced to this, to see how this works.

Tara:  We have purchased the SimMan-3G for our students.  The reason we wanted to do a lot with the simulation, it gives the students more of an opportunity to have hands-on experience for a mannequin that would actually go through a life-like scenario.  It would have a situation, let’s say where a person came in with chest pains and it would go ahead and go through the process of having the heart attack and the student would have to use critical thinking skills to be able to then go ahead and see what symptoms are being presented to see the action that they should select.

[mannequin saying, the pain is extremely bad, it’s like a mule kicked me in the chest]

Courtenay:  The extremely life-like mannequin talks.

[student saying, on a scale of one to ten]

And his nurses listen; helping prepare them for real life emergencies.

Tara:  And a lot of times with simulation it gives the students a good time to practice before they actually get into a real life situation, and then they have kind of an inkling of the response that they would naturally have, and if it was a response that wasn’t necessarily the right response, we can help correct that before they get out in the real world of work.

Courtenay:  Work that includes everything from taking vitals and blood pressure, to listening to heartbeats; all to see how students react in a stressful environment.

Tara:  The nice thing about simulation is they have a debriefing feature.  As we work with SimMan he has a video camera that catches the whole scenario that students interact with him, and after it’s finished we can de-brief the student, and let them actually watch the video footage of themself, and then they can see how they respond.  A lot of times, it just improves that critical thinking for the student to really let them see, you know, when they are in that situation of high stress how they are going to react.  And that if it’s not again at the appropriate time we can go ahead and re-train and re-correct and reinforce that before they are in that real life setting.

Courtenay:  A real life setting that is only a breath away.

Courtenay:  Well such technology isn’t cheap, and SimMans can run anywhere from $27,000 to $80,000 each.  And although pricey, when you consider the benefits to areas like northwest Oklahoma, they are an investment in a healthier state.