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Patient Dummies Create Smart Students

by Emily Peterson

Pellissippi is using $100,000 patient simulators to better equip future nurses.

The simulator is built to look like a human and displays the symptoms of a patient. The campus has an adult, a child, and a newborn. They also boast other dummies of different levels that include medium fidelity simulators that lie in hospital beds and are hooked to an electronic system to mimic heart and lung noises as well as a cough. The simplest simulators used are task trainers that assist students in learning how to place an IV or catheter.

Lisa Stamm, the dean of the nursing campus at Strawberry Plains, said that use of the high fidelity, gold-standard technology has created an “immersive learning environment that is safe.” She said that use of the dummies in clinical practice often mirrors real-life stress and emotion. Stamm clarified that the dummies were not a replacement for human interaction and represented about 15 percent of student training.

Stamm said the department has been working to keep current with the technology available in hospitals and she hopes that other campuses will get updates as well. 

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