September 18, 2008
It’s Pat, the Perfect Patient
By SUE SCHEIBLE
STOUGHTONAt the end of a meeting at New England Sinai Hospital, Pat announced he didn't feel well. He had been rather lifeless during the past hour, anyway.
Pat, who has a history of heart disease, was in heart failure, but he was surrounded by doctors and nurses, and they sprang into action. They lifted Pat onto a gurney and in seconds were giving him oxygen and IV fluids and taking X-rays.
The medical team was a little worried - especially when Pat had an allergic reaction to the antibiotic - but then Pat rallied and said he felt better.
That drew a round of applause. After all, Pat was the star of the show, even if he/she is a mannequin.
Pat is a new SimMan patient simulator being used at New England Sinai to teach nursing students emergency lifesaving skills.
The lifelike mannequin uses interactive, state-of-the-art technology that enables students and staff members to practice skills, analyze their performance and correct mistakes.
Pat has a heartbeat, blood pressure, a pulse from neck to feet, respiration, skin and veins. He also speaks and comes loaded with 25 X-rays. You can do an EKG on Pat, or draw blood.
Included is a patented airway that allows doctors to practice inserting a breathing tube and other advanced life-saving measures, including CPR and use of a defibrillator.
The mannequin was awarded to the hospital and Massasoit Community College under a competitive $48,000 state grant.
For clinical situations, Pat can be either a man or a woman, said Deborah Donahue, New England Sinai's coordinator of professional development.
Patient simulators used in other clinical training programs have accounted for a 26 percent reduction in medical errors, Donahue said.
Dr. Anne Scalzo-McNeil, dean of Massasoit's allied health division, said SimMan draws students into realistic emergency situations.
"We are finding the best ways to take care of patients," she said. "Students become heightened in their sense of what they need to do. It pulls us into making good clinical decisions."
Sue Scheible may be reached at [email protected]
Originally published by By SUE SCHEIBLE, The Patriot Ledger.
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