News

High-tech Patient Simulator to Be Featured at Open House

September 24, 2010

The community is invited to meet one of southeast Iowa’s newest hospital patients, SimMan®. The life-size computer-driven mannequin that realistically replicates medical scenarios will be featured in an open house in Great River Health Systems’ Skills Laboratory. It is scheduled from 2 to 5 p.m. Monday, Oct. 11, on the lower level of Mercy Plaza, 1225 S. Gear Ave., West Burlington.

The health system and Southeastern Community College worked together to bring the SimMan project to life. SimMan was purchased by the college through a federal appropriations grant and a grant from the Vincent and Nina Cullen Trust. Great River Health Systems redesigned its skills laboratory to accommodate the simulator.

SimMan breathes, talks, coughs and makes other sounds. His vital signs are monitored on a touch screen to provide instant feedback. He even has interchangeable parts like pupils, skin wounds and an amputated leg. While nurses examine their patient, an instructor in the next room operates the computer, choosing preprogrammed patient scenarios, manually creating scenarios or a combination of both. She watches through a one-way window.

“The realism is excellent,” said Sue Ferguson, director, Corporate Education. “SimMan helps staff nurses and nursing students improve their skills and confidence in making clinical decisions. The urgency of patient-care situations helps them forget the scenario is fictitious.”

SimMan was purchased by Southeastern Community College through two grants – a federal appropriations grant and a grant from the Vincent and Nina Cullen Trust. Great River Health Systems redesigned its skills laboratory to accommodate the simulator.

“The collaboration with Southeastern Community College to further develop the learning environment for both employees and students has been great,” said Teresa Colgan, the hospital’s vice president of Nursing. “The addition of SimMan is changing the way clinical staff education is delivered. Besides helping our staff nurses, it provides the students an opportunity to see conditions in the simulation lab that they may not see during their clinical experiences.”

SCC’s Dean of Health and Natural Sciences Mary Saxton said the close partnership between SCC and Great River Health Systems was important to the success of the project. “We are always looking for novel ways to partner. It makes sense that we would share such a powerful teaching tool as SimMan.”

“SimMan is an incredible asset to our education program,” Ferguson said. “We’re looking forward to showing him to community.”