Simulator Hones Nurses’ Pediatric Skills
Barbara Bauder, Chief Development Officer
Bay Area Hospital
COOS BAY – Training sessions at Bay Area Hospital are a little more vivid since the arrival of a startlingly realistic infant mannequin.
The wireless mannequin simulates a newborn – with lifelike symptoms, reactions and movements. A nurse can take the baby's pulse, listen to heart and lung sounds, and hook up an intravenous line. Even a breathing tube can be inserted. Controlled by a tablet computer, the baby can move, cry, wheeze, turn blue from lack of oxygen, and even experience a seizure.
“This allows us to practice in as real a situation as possible,” said Jennifer Johnson, a staff educator and registered nurse with 30 years' experience at BAH.
Sometimes a little too real. Watching a baby shake with convulsions can trigger uncomfortable emotions, even when the baby is obviously plastic.
“Even though we know it's a doll, we respond to it like it's real,” Johnson said. “That's the whole intent – to have it as real as it can be.”
The mannequin hasn't been named yet. Its manufacturer, Miami–based Gaumard Scientific Co., calls it a “HAL S3010,” but Johnson and her colleagues plan to give it a personalized identity.
The new name will need to be unisex – like “Pat” or “Chris” – because the mannequin has interchangeable parts to simulate a baby boy or girl. It also has a detachable umbilical cord, allowing it to simulate a newborn or a slightly older baby.
The simulator helps prepare nurses and other hospital personnel for real–life pediatric care scenarios, including emergencies, Johnson said. They can practice processes, teamwork and critical thinking skills. Later, they can watch a video playback to evaluate the exercise.
Staff members have been enthusiastic about the realistic training. Johnson said a common response has been, “When can we do this again? ”
Media Advisory: To interview Jennifer Johnson, or to arrange photos or video of the mannequin, call Barbara Bauder at (541) 269-8543.