Birth of New Patient Simulators

The contractions are becoming more frequent and the soon-to-be-mother cries out. Nurses keep a careful eye on her as they monitor the baby’s heart rate. The contractions quicken and the nurses ready themselves, before they know it it’s time to push!

What the student nurses should do next is not something they can often practice for, but this case is a little different.

Those cries? Those contractions? The baby’s heart rate? Well, none of it’s real. It’s all part of a brand new female patient simulator who has the ability to give birth. She’s called Lucina and she’s very life-like.

“She functions not only as a pregnant mom, but we can also use her as a normal adult, so before, during and after pregnancy,” said Dawn Boettcher, Dean of Health Programs.

“Students can access, observe and treat her and the baby. She has the ability to have real-life responses to the care we’re giving.

For example, she can be programmed to receive a certain medicine and if the student gives it correctly or incorrectly the simulator will respond to it physically.”

Lucina, and a new pediatric patient simulator, are among the new equipment included in lab renovations at both Clinton and Scott Community College.

Simulation bays mirroring real hospital rooms and a classroom have been added at both locations. In one bay, cameras have been placed so students can watch what their peers are doing on video monitors in the classroom. In the other bay, teachers and students can view what is going on through a small room with a mirrored window.

Muscatine Community College’s nursing lab also received a makeover. All three locations have simulators to help students learn. While nursing students will be the first to benefit from these exciting new spaces, Boettcher anticipates all health programs will be able to take advantage of the technology.

“Now we’ll have the ability to do simulations with multiple disciplines, so a simulation could include the EMS response, CNA’s, radiologic technology etc., so everyone can get that real life experience.”

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