Simulation learning is the most important trend in nursing education today!
One of the simulated labs is a two-bed critical care unit, home to Sim Man, a realistic life-like simulator with heart, lung and bowel sounds, palpable pulses and blood pressure, ECG and pulse oximetry monitoring, IV training arm and other high-tech capabilities. Sim Man can also talk, moan, breathe, vomit, and ask and answer questions. His roommate is Vital Sim with many of the same technology and learning capabilities. In addition, this unit provides other “state-of-the-art” technology that is routinely found in ICU/CCU settings. These simulators can also be adapted to replicate the effects of toxic agents to provide students with practice with “patients” who have been exposed to nuclear, biological, and chemical agents through terrorism and natural disasters.
Across the hall is a NICU or simulated neonatal intensive care unit. In it is Sim Baby, designed for simulation and practice of a range of infant patient care procedures including advanced skills practice. Nearby, Sim Kid, a human-like reproduction of a 6 year old male, provides high-tech pediatric care experiences. In addition, the NICU contains “state-of-the-art” technology traditionally found in neonatal and pediatric critical care.
Another room contains a simulated maternity-birthing lab with a maternal and neonatal birthing simulator. This full-size, articulating female simulator is designed to provide a complete birthing experience before, during and after delivery. Students learn to care for the mother and fetus before birth, and the mother and newborn after birth. As an undergrad, students can help in the birthing process. As a graduate student in midwifery, the student can actually deliver the baby under normal or abnormal circumstances.
Computer software providing virtual learning experiences accompany many of the simulated lab experiences to prepare students for real-world encounters.
All of these learning opportunities help students’ transition comfortably into all the clinical environments, and become effective practitioners and critical care team members.