Oh, baby! Nursing students to care for new pregnant, lifelike simulator

Nursing simulator 2
During a practice scenario, Lab Coordinator Marti Villa, R.N., and Lecturer Carol Jasko, R.N.C., (L to R) assess palpitations in the new patient simulator’s uterus and bladder.

By Kenna Caprio

Nursing students practice all different kinds of patient care in a skills lab on campus, treating patient simulator manikins, that remotely hook up to a laptop and heart monitor.

To help them prepare for obstetrics patients, Fairleigh Dickinson University’s Metropolitan Campus just received two new bundles of joy and their mom — the new Noelle simulator, made by Gaumard, which actually gives birth.

“Students get to experience the birthing process, and learn how to take care of the mother prenatal and postnatal. They’ll learn newborn assessment, too,” says Minerva Guttman, Ed.D., R.N., N.P. and director of the Henry P. Becton School of Nursing and Allied Health. “With this model, we get three simulators: the mother, a small baby to go through the birth canal, and then a larger newborn size. There’s even a placenta attached.”

Play the name game! The Henry P. Becton School of Nursing and Allied Health is running a naming contest for its four manikins, the pregnant simulator and baby, plus two SimMans, this semester. Submit name suggestions to Clinical Lab Specialist Mary Templeton at mary_templeton@fdu.edu by December 17!

Nursing students will start learning on the new equipment in the spring semester. This fall, faculty trained on the simulator, running standard birth scenarios on the laptop and also preparing for “high-risk, low-frequency procedures,” says Steven Kanarian, a representative for Gaumard. These may include a breech birth, post-partum hemorrhage and other advanced bleeding scenarios. Gaumard equipment is used at hospitals, universities and other institutions for nurse training.

Nursing simulator close up
Nursing students will learn to care for mother and baby, pre- and postnatal on the new manikins. (Photo by Dan Landau)

During the training exercise at FDU, Lecturer Carol Jasko, R.N.C., and Lab Coordinator Marti Villa, R.N., assess palpitations in the simulator’s uterus and bladder while monitoring the mother and child’s health status for delivery. Clinical Lab Specialist Mary Templeton runs the scenario at the laptop.

A scared, automated voice cries out, “It hurts, it hurts! I want an epidural!” But, “there’s no time,” Villa says in response to the patient as she and Jasko guide the baby out of the birth canal. The simulation is about as real as it gets, short of an actual delivery.

Both Jasko and Villa are excited to teach students on the simulators next semester, alongside Clinical Instructor Donna Bruchmann, R.N., but there’s a lot to remember, they say. So the women reboot and reposition, preparing to run the scenario again.