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Playing with Dolls

playing with dolls7/29/15
Worthington Campus
Minnesota West Community and Technical College nursing students will train on a new mannequin starting this fall semester.

Lori Kurtz, the education specialist for Laerdal Medical, spent Wednesday with Minnesota West nursing instructors, training them on how to operate the newly acquired Laerdal SimMan Essential mannequin.

Minnesota West Director of Nursing Dawn Gordon said the college received its first training mannequin approximately 10 years ago. The school believes this type of hands-on training is exactly what the students require.

“All students need that time to practice before they head out and work with real patients,” Gordon said. “Ten years later, we have continued to evolve and have one of the strongest and largest programs in the state. Because of that, we continue to work on creative and innovative processes to train students. One of them is with simulation.”

Gordon said Minnesota West President Terry Gaalswyk is supportive of the innovativeness of the college’s nursing program and realizes there is a great need for health care professionals. Minnesota West is doing its best to produce many highly trained professionals who are ready for the workforce, she added.

“Nursing programs all over southwest Minnesota had the maximum number of students that we could handle because industry workers have asked us for more nurses,” Gordon said.

“There are retirees in our communities that are no longer in practice, and there is a need for different team models for LPNs and RNs working together,” she added. “We’re seeing an increase in need for our students coming into our programs.

“We want to have a great sense of quality of training for all of your students involved. With that came the idea to build on more simulation.”

The new SimMan mannequin is worth approximately $60,000. Gordon said it allows the instructor to control its symptoms and reactions to the care the nursing students give it.

The mannequin allows for many different types of health care training. The instructor can have the students check for pulse, bowel sounds and breathing. Students will learn to detect symptoms of strokes, pneumonia, heart attacks and other health issues depending on what symptoms the mannequin is displaying.

Gordon said the symptoms and health issues will increase in severity as the semester goes on so students can gain as much experience as possible.

“We surveyed students about how valuable they think simulation training is for their learning,” she said. “Ninety-six percent say that it is so valuable and it adds so much to their learning experience. They are feeling that they are safe practitioners when they are in the workforce.”

The mannequin was donated by Worthington Regional Health Care Foundation, Laerdal Medical and Avera Medical Group Worthington.

“If it wasn’t for the awesome health care providers here in Worthington, we wouldn’t have been able to develop our program the way we have,” Gordon said.


Article courtesy of:
Kristin Kirtz, Daily Globe Reporter
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