Healthwatch: Dummies for nursing

By Eric Greene

May 22, 2014 Updated May 22, 2014 at 10:56 AM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. --- Lives are on the line every day at local hospitals, but the odds of surviving have improved due to new training facilities and techniques.

In this month's Healthwatch, we take a look at how nursing students at Methodist College in Peoria are getting hands on training with high tech patients.

A team of nursing students get the word that a patient has stopped breathing. They restore his breathing, but then the man's wife comes in and wants to know what happened while she was gone.

Then, she delivers the news to nurses, her husband has a DNR a "Do not resuscitate" wish from her husband and they must let him expire.

None of this real.

It's part of the simulation learning center at Methodist College that gives the students a realistic situation with the help of computerized mannequins.

Mannequins that have a pulse, can sweat and simulate having a baby.

"Most importantly we're helping them understand everything about those skills. You have to put an IV in, wonderful but why are you putting the IV in, how do you assess an IV, how do you know if the IV will work. That's what we can do here" said Lisa Preston, Simulation Center Director.

Preston isn't with the students when they go to work on these patients. She's in another room, serving as the voice of the patient.

A volunteer serves as the patients wife who alerted the nurses about do not resuscitate.

Kourtney Wilson, who graduated from Methodist on Saturday, says the simulation experience is invaluable experience for what she'll face on the job.

"You can feel the pulse in the mannequin, you can hear his respiratory ticks, you can feel his sweaty hands...so you have to think of it as a real person, to help in anyway possible" said Wilson.

And while nursing has had a shortage of people entering the field in recent years, Lisa Preston that's now changing.

"Our enrollment is at a record high now, and I know that the simulation center has a lot to do with it" said Preston.

For more information on the simulation center visit www.methodistcol.edu.

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