News Tech: At Auburn’s Central Maine Community College, a high-tech mannequin named Victoria is pregnant with her baby, Tory. Also known as a simulator, Victoria can give birth and give birth to a baby. Both mannequins realistically reproduce blood pressure, heart rate, bowel sounds and blinks. They can appear to be talking.
“We control the rate of contractions, which she shows on one screen and the fetal heart rate on another,” said Kathy McManus, director of the nursing program at the university. “Students can look at how mom is doing, how the baby is doing in utero – and the advantage is that we can stop and start.
The expansion is part of an ongoing effort to use simulated environments to provide near-real-world experiences to students in supervised training settings, says Jessica Dreves, chair of the nursing department at Southern Maine Community College in South Portland. Leading institutions are using advanced simulation techniques to improve graduate proficiency, especially in low-incidence, high-clinical-risk settings, Dreves said. Todd Dadaleares, Health Simulation Operations Specialist at Southern Maine Community College, said:
Those are teachable moments”. Simulators and other high-tech equipment used to train students in the health care professions are getting more sophisticated all the time. And simulation capacity is expanding. For example, new simulation technology and simulation coordinator positions are among key elements as Maine`s community college system looks to double its nursing program to 480 students per year, thanks to a $2.5 million allocation included in Maine`s supplemental budget earlier this year and matched by MaineHealth and Northern Light Health.
“Sometimes, clinical personnel or standardized patients are trained to take on specific roles as patients, family members, or embedded participants to guide simulations and learners through scenarios”. He adds: Simulation has many advantages. Unlike real life, instructors can pause and resume scenarios so students can ask questions and practice maneuvers. The quality and usability of today’s simulators have improved significantly, making portable computers, tablets, and monitors necessary. “We used to have huge computers,” says McManus. “Our first simulator had a room where the compressor ran.
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