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A doll that reacts like a human

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August 25, 2004

Thomasville - Every day, nurses deal with life and death situations, some that they may be seeing for the first time. John, a truck driver, has just been admitted to the Emergency Room. He doesn't have a pulse and is not breathing, but with the help of nursing students at Southwest Georgia Technical College, he soon will be.

Nursing Student, Shanika Taylor says, "It's a real life situation where we come in and we actually get the experience on how to react to a patient who's going into cardiac arrest."

John is actually a Human Patient Simulator. A computerized doll that reacts to the medication and treatment these students administer. "Our students can actually treat them like they were actually in the hospital setting," says Nursing Instructor Jamie Holland. "It reacts just like a real patient would."

Except here, in the school's lab, mistakes are welcomed. "Do not want to make those mistakes in the real world," says Allied Health Director Dr. Annie McElroy.

That's why this teaching tool gives these students such an advantage. Dr. McElroy says, "We're able to give these students real world, but in a training environment in which they're comfortable to use critical thinking, to make mistakes, to improve their judgement, so that they do know how to react with real patients in the real world of the hospital."

Hospitals where these students will be prepared. "They're going to be the best prepared nurses in the area," says McElroy.

That's good news for all of us, especially John. Southwest Georgia Technical College hopes to share their new technology with Valdosta State University, which has a similar pediatric simulator.

posted at 4:50 PM by karen.collier@walb.com

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