During a recent renovation to the nursing facilities in Mercy Hall, a Simulation Man lab upgrade was constructed with improved hardware, software, and a new room with one-sided glass allowing professors to monitor the protocol of nursing students as they interact with a simulated patient, aka, SimMan. Both students and professors learn from the medical simulation in truly meaningful ways before encountering real patients, particularly because SimMan can now act out up to 40 medical scenarios, including complicating factors like diabetes reactions or emergencies such as cardiac arrest. The improved software can simulate make-believe lab results, Google medical images, and x-rays. The professors can monitor the patient’s heart rhythm and vital signs on newly installed computer screens. With the state-of-the-art system, cameras record the student nurses at the bedside and debriefing plays a critical role in learning as students analyze the video playback of their nursing protocol and what could have been done differently.
Michele Cyr ’10 of Biddeford, Maine, was first introduced to Sim Man as a sophomore nursing student. “I remember being astonished when I felt his heart beat as I listened with my newly-purchased stethoscope,” she says. “I watched his chest rise and fall with controllable respirations, and felt the pulses in his feet. While he seemed daunting then, I realize now that he would be the least stressful patient I would ever have.”