Clinical simulation lab helps train future medical professionals

By: Melissa Randall


The patient CCRI nursing students worked on Thursday morning was unlike any they had every met.

“That mannequin, or dummy as you say, is no dummy. He’s responding to what a student did or didn’t do and it could either have the mannequin live or it could have the mannequin die,” explained Lisa Burke, a coordinator for CCRI’s nursing program.

"Joe" is a computerized patient simulation mannequin, and can replicate a wide range of conditions. The students are left on their own to try and figure out how to help him.

“For me, I am a very anxious person and I’m also a visual learner so this helps me because I have to do it over and over again,” said nursing student Genevieve Kuada who is expected to graduate in May.

Since opening on the Flanagan campus in October, more than 700 future nurses, respiratory therapists and dental hygienists have been tested out their abilities on a ‘patients’ of all ages.

“We’ve only worked on mannequins that have mouths and like a head– not ones that can sweat, that can talk to you, that can cry, that can blink. So it almost made it more real,” said Taylor Beland, who is in the dental hygiene program.

The controlled environment of the new SIM lab is over seen by experienced educators. From behind a two way mirror they control the mannequin and give feedback only once the scenario is over.

“Sometimes they feel a little down hearted if they make a mistake or have an issue, but by the time they go in to do a briefing and sit with their peers and faculty– they’ve worked through those issues and are better equipped to go and interact again or do another scenario,” said Burke.

Students say the hands on experience makes them more confident medical professionals, and gives them a leg up when they apply for jobs in the future.

“It gives you an idea of how ready you are to get out there into the working environment,” said Daniel Connor, Jr., a student in CCRI’s nursing program.

The school hopes to include scenarios for students in even more disciplines, in the near future.

© WLNE-TV 2016