The latest training tool at Marshall Medical Centers is no dummy. He has a pulse, tears, blinks his eyes, urinates, bleeds and has seizures, but he is not human.

The SimMan 3G is an advanced patient simulator that displays neurological symptoms as well as physical ailments.

“It’s going to be excellent for teaching,” said Tami Howard, RN, director of staff development and education at Marshall South. “Simulation is the wave of the future.”

The high-tech and high dollar patient simulators at both hospitals were made possible thanks to a $188,500 grant secured by Dr. Amy Langley, director of health sciences at Snead State Community College.

Langley said the effort started several years ago after a conversation with Ruth Bischoff, nursing director at South, about a simulation lab that could be used by nursing students as well as for professional development training.

“That opened the window to have the most current simulator for training,” she said.

The partnership between the hospitals and Snead’s nursing school ultimately will benefit patients.

“Better prepared nurses at the hospital spills over into quality patient care,” Langley said. “When nurses demonstrate really good patient care, students will mimic that.”

Howard said using a simulator enables instructors to teach in a realistic hospital setting.

“This will allow students to utilize critical thinking in a controlled setting,” she said. “They can make mistakes and learn from them in a simulated setting instead of in an actual patient care environment. A wrong decision can change a patient’s condition.”

For more on this story see Saturday’s Tribune or purchase an e-edition.

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