Nursing program uses lifelike practice robots


Daniel Salomon

Mannequins like this one help nursing students.

Alex Fregger, Technology Editor

AACC nursing students can practice delivering babies and caring for patients on campus in hospital simulations with high-tech, life-like mannequins.

High-tech, battery-operated mannequins in the Florestano Building have pulses and can blink, pee, bleed, and make bowel and breathing noises. They have speakers in their heads that an operator can speak through so it appears they are talking.

According to nursing professor Myra Dennis, AACC’s nursing simulation room uses mannequins and occasionally paid actors to create realistic experiences.

Aside from the mannequins that simulate birth, others resemble newborns or male adults. Some have interchangeable body parts.

Florestano houses simulation lab rooms, where students studying to be nurses, physician assistants and emergency medical technicians can practice managing patients in emergency situations that could happen on the job.

First-year physician assistant student Rita Younes said her experiences in the rooms were “very cool.”

Future nurses who witness the mannequins as they simulate giving birth can prepare for what to expect in their fields.

Students also can practice changing bandages or placing catheters on lower-tech mannequins.

According to Dean of Health Sciences Elizabeth Appel, the new Health and Life Sciences Building will include similar simulation labs for students studying to become EMTs, paramedics, physical therapists or surgical technicians.

When the new Health and Life Sciences Building opens in 2021, the health sciences program will move from Florestano.

Appel said students studying social work can use simulation space in the new building to role-play as they learn about how to console and appropriately manage patients in hospitals during distress.

She said the new building’s labs could include simulations of emergencies in diners or apartments, instead of just hospital rooms.