With clinical sites in high demand but short supply, many medical programs are turning to simulation technology to help students earn valuable experience in often unpredictable situations.
Lake Superior State University (LSSU) in Sault Ste Marie, Mich., touts a 100-percent job placement ranking for its nursing students. During schooling, students are placed in area hospitals for clinical experience and are trained to work throughout the United States and Canada.
Recently, LSSU received a $400,000 donation from the R.W. Considine Foundation to purchase state-of-the-art mannequins that use simulation technology, as part of a proposed nursing simulation center in the city. The donation will be used to purchase five mannequins manufactured by Laerdal Medical of Norway. These computer-controlled, wireless mannequins, though highly expensive, are becoming invaluable to today’s nursing students.
“Students often need the opportunity to practice,” said Rob Hutchins, associate dean at LSSU’s School of Nursing. “In clinical situations it’s difficult, sometimes, to have the right experiences available. We can’t program patients to have a heart attack at any given time or gastrointestinal problems at any given time.”
(Next page: Benefits of the computer-controlled, wireless mannequins)