He talks, breathes, and has a heartbeat. But he is not alive.
This life-like simulation manikin is the latest addition to a family of five other high-fidelity simulation manikins at the Technical College of the Lowcountry.
“The new manikin uses the most advanced technology and can emulate more human functions than before,” nursing director Dr. Sharon Beasley said. “Plus, operationally, the manikin is easier to program and easier to set-up.”
The $63,000 piece of technology was funded by generous grants from the Community Foundation of the Lowcountry and the TCL Foundation.
Students will see more “real-life” patient features in the newest simulation manikin. For example, the new manikin can move its head and blink its eyes and instructors can even talk directly through the manikin.
“Because the faculty can speak through the simulator, students will get better experiences responding in real-time to a variety of clinical situations,” Beasley said.
The high-fidelity simulator can be programmed to simulate cardiac and pulmonary events, disease symptoms, and even patient responses to pain.
“‘Sim-Man’ can mimic many situations that nurses and other health care professionals will encounter in the workplace,” dean of health sciences Marge Sapp said. “This simulator can do and say just about anything a human body can.”
Because of these life-like simulations, the Sim-Man will help students learn using real-life scenarios.
“The Sim-Man will give students valuable hands-on practice in a laboratory setting,” Beasley said. “This experience is critical in preparing our students to enter into clinical practice with our health care partners in Beaufort, Colleton, Hampton and Jasper counties.”
Nursing students agree that the technology is important in preparing them for the nursing field.
“This is as close as you can get to learning new skills and practicing those skills before performing those skills on a live patient,” nursing student Chanel Cook said. “This hands-on practice allows us to master the skill so that we are better prepared for clinicals and a job.”
And since instructors can program the manikin, they ensure students have exposure to specific medical scenarios.
“The Sim-Man gives me the opportunity to assess clinical situations that I may not experience in clinical but will be expected to know as a practicing nurse,” nursing student Ashley Rheinheimer Ammerman said.
In the last five years, TCL has graduated about 500 health care professionals in its nursing, radiologic technology, surgical technology, physical therapist assistant and massage therapy programs.
“Our graduates touch the lives of Lowcountry residents every day by providing the quality health care that our region demands,” President Dr. Richard Gough said. “TCL is a major economic driver in our healthcare community – we provide the workforce needed to sustain our communities’ healthcare.”
The TCL associate degree nursing program is currently accepting applications for the spring 2015 semester. Visit www.tcl.edu/nursing for more information, or call 843.525.8267.
The Technical College of the Lowcountry is committed to a policy of equal opportunity for all qualified applicants for admissions or employment without regard to race, gender, national origin, age, religion, marital status, veteran status, disability, or political affiliation or belief.