SimMan 3G gives vocal response to students

The University of Technology, Sydney, has officially opened a new clinical laboratory facility for nursing and midwifery students, complete with a third-generation wireless SimMan computer-controlled mannequin.

UTS has invested in several versions of the popular SimMan products over the years, including a number of advanced life support (ALS) simulators.

The tetherless SimMan 3G includes a host of new applications, including a wireless instructor and patient monitors that enables users to observe the mannequin's vital signs while moving around freely during training.

UTS's director of simulation and technologies, Michelle Kelly, said SimMan 3G, despite requiring a whole day to install, was incredibly clever.

“It includes RFID tags so whatever you do, it automatically goes on to the log,” Ms Kelly said. “3G also has responsive pupils, blinks, has chest rise and fall, can bleed and sweat as well as many other advanced features. Key to student interaction is real time vocal responses from 3G – via the instructor.”

The company behind SimMan, Laerdal, recently launched its new SimPad interactive handheld touchscreen product, which enables simulations to be run easily and effectively.

UTS has not yet upgraded to SimPad but is using Laerdal's VitalSim vital signs simulator controller, which dictates ECGs, heart sounds, fetal heart sounds, breath sounds, bowel sounds, blood pressure and pulses from the mannequin.

The new facility also includes brand new audio visual equipment and management system to record and play back simulation scenarios for debriefing and self-assessment.

Ms Kelly said this was important considering the range of simulation activities now embedded in nursing and midwifery programs and the numbers of students the faculty is now hosting.

The new facility, opened by Health Minister Tanya Plibersek on March 29, was built to fit into an existing space but had the best technology available, Ms Kelly said.

“It has a control room with one way glass that straddles two teaching labs, equipped with the audio visual management system from B-Line Medical.”

B-Line's system is completely web-based and has a data recording engine that can read, store and report on data in real or delayed time from any computer. Some information can be accessed by students, while other levels can be controlled by academics and managers.

Ms Kelly said that in future UTS would look at purchasing the SimJunior for paediatrics and the SimMom, a new full body birthing model that is much more realistic than current birthing mannequins.

UTS vice-chancellor Ross Milbourne said the university was now leading the sector in nursing and midwifery education and research.

"This $4.8 million clinical laboratory development is considered world class – the result of six years of strategic focus on teaching and learning and simulation in healthcare," Professor Milbourne said.

"Having nine clinical labs allows us to run all nursing and midwifery professional subject classes in realistic simulated health settings. We are only university in NSW with this capability.

"The result is that students feel like a nurse or midwife from moment they start their degree. Because of this, our students have said they are luckiest in country."

Posted in Australian eHealth

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