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Grant in Action: Patient Simulation Teaches Future Nurses

Donors advance learning at MacMurray College

Nursing students at MacMurray College are benefitting from patient simulation technology thanks to an $81,000 grant from the MMC Foundation.

They benefit by gaining self-confidence…”

The simulator, known as Hal, offers physical and physiological features to allow students to experience lifelike cases.

Students can utilize a real 12-lead ECG monitor, capnometers, oximeters, blood pressure cuffs, defibrillators and mechanical ventilators with Hal. The system has pre-programmed scenarios and the capability to recognize the type and volume of a drug being injected. The instructor can speak through Hal or he can speak pre-programmed phrases in several languages. Hal blinks, has pupils that react to light, his tongue swells and he can become cyanotic.

“Hal provides excellent opportunities for students at the sophomore level to learn the difference between normal and abnormal findings during a full body assessment,” said Angela Pierson, MSN/ED, RN, CNE, director of nursing and assistant professor of nursing at MacMurray College. “The more advanced students use Hal to role play through various case scenarios involving several members of the care team, the patient and family members of the patient.”

The video recording debriefing system helps students reflect on their performance with Hal. It gives them an opportunity to see what they did well and where they can make changes to get a better outcome in future situations.

“This type of technology is important for students because it allows them to practice nursing knowledge, skills and competencies in a realistic and non-threatening manner,” Pierson said. “They benefit by gaining self-confidence and a willingness to jump in and be a part of the team without causing harm to the patient.”

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