Something you never want to hear from your doctor or nurse is: “Congratulations! You’re going to be the first person I’ve ever tried this procedure on.”
However, today, some nursing students get a chance to try out new techniques on high-fidelity human patient simulators rather than live patients.
That’s why, at Glacier Hall, the new allied health building for Modesto Junior College in California, and at the Redbud building at Columbia College in Sonora, the simulation center is at the core of nursing education.
Human Patient Simulation
Because patient simulation is so important to this nursing program, the SIM center at Modesto Junior College includes four simulated hospital rooms.
Each has a single bed and a human patient simulator from CAE Healthcare, Laerdal Medical or Gaumard. The center also includes an observation/control room and a debriefing room. The SIM center at Sonora, which opened last year, has just two patient rooms, but each holds two beds and two simulators.
The each patient rooms also include three pan/tilt/zoom (PTZ) cameras and a ceiling-mounted microphone to record exercises, a simulator microphone and speaker so that the instructor, acting as the patient, can speak to the nurse, an LED monitor to display vital signs, and an intercom system that allows instructors and students to interact.
Normally student nurses work in teams of four, practicing the various responsibilities of patient care and reacting quickly should an emergency occur.
For example, an exercise may entail a frustrated cardiac patient pulling a central line out of a vein that sits close to his heart, causing catastrophic bleeding. The students have to run through the correct emergency procedure with only moments to save his life.