Nursing students train for childbirth on mannequins

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The nursing department’s infant, newborn and delivering mother simulator in Room 223 of the nursing complex. The pregnant mannequin can be programmed to give birth and have complications.  Photo by Daniel Carde

The nursing department’s infant, newborn and delivering mother simulator in Room 223 of the nursing complex. The pregnant mannequin can be programmed to give birth and have complications. Photo by Daniel Carde

New simulated “mom” mannequin offers experience in labor and delivery.

By Edith Moctezuma

sac-ranger@alamo.edu

The college’s nursing education department has purchased two simulated junior mannequins, one simulated mom mannequin and a simulated mom course for $119,984.70 using Carl Perkins Grant funds.

The nursing lab in Room 223 of the nursing complex now has 22 mannequins programmed to act like humans so students learn to work with real patients, Dion Morin, R.N., said.

Morin is an education specialist who is responsible for setting labs for faculty, assisting faculty with instruction and helping students who need more time to practice procedures.

In the lab, students are able to treat mannequins with common health concerns, such as diabetes or hypertension, or monitor a baby’s heart, he said.

Morin said students learn how to communicate effectively with patients and think critically in real time. The mannequins teach students to become safe practice nurses who abide by the Texas Board of Nursing’s rules and regulations and are able to make decisions on what is safe for the patient, Morin said.

In the lab, students learn the background of the mannequin or patient before providing care.

He said students are able to interact with mannequins and ask questions such as inquiring about pain level before treating the pain.

The mannequin’s response comes from a faculty member using a microphone from the “program room.”

This room is also equipped with computers showing the mannequins’ vital signs. Students are able to provide “practimed,” pretend medications, such as an injection or start an intravenous medication.

The lab now is equipped with infants, adolescents, adults, elderly and a mom, a mannequin that can deliver a baby.

Faculty should be trained to use the sim mom by the end of March.

Morin said students also learn to communicate with patients from other countries.

He said one of the scenarios using the sim mannequins portrayed a baby in the hospital with parents from Eagle Pass who spoke only Spanish.

He said that since one of the students spoke Spanish, she would be the translator.

“The equipment gives students confidence practicing on persons in the hospital,” said Stella Cirlos, director of the department of nursing education.

She also said this lab helps students learn from mistakes before they go to a hospital setting. Morin said all students in the nursing program are exposed to the simulated mannequins.

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