NMU has opened a new pediatric simulation room in the nursing department thanks to a charitable donation. The room will enhance training for nursing students and ultimately lead to the creation of a Smart Hospital.
John and Cathi Drake gave a majority of the funds that contributed to the creation of the Drake Family Pediatric Care Simulation Room and all of the technology included in that room. The gift was received in July and the construction of the room began in August. An anonymous donation of $8,000 was also given to help create the new room.
The new room contains a mannequin that represents a 5-year-old child. This mannequin is hooked up wirelessly to a computer that can give it a pulse, make it breathe and do a number of set medical situations. The mannequin can be used by any student in a health-related major, not just nursing students, said Julie Dobson, the simulation coordinator.
“The simulators create experiences that the students may not have the opportunity to do in a hospital,” said Dobson.
Using mannequins to help train nursing students has become popular in other schools around the country and even around the world, Dobson said.
Along with the new room, there are two other simulation rooms. The new mannequin joins a family of other mannequins including a baby, adult male and pregnant female. The room will be a part of a new Smart Hospital that will be constructed in the future. There are no set plans for where the Smart Hospital will be built yet.
The NMU School of Nursing is partnering with the Marquette General Health System and the Upper Peninsula Health Education Corporation to help build the Smart Hospital. This will be the first Smart Hospital of its kind in the Midwest, and one of only three in the nation.
The hospital will be arranged like a small hospital including the mannequins and even actors, said Kerri Schuiling, associate dean and director of the school of nursing.
“This type of education takes place for any type of health professional,” Schuiling said. “They get hands-on experience.”
The Smart Hospital will include classrooms to give instruction along with the simulation rooms. The hospital will help students and professionals learn to deal with situations that are not normally seen in an area like the U.P., said Schuiling.
“We live in a rural community and usually see the same types of incidents,” Schuiling said. “The Smart Hospital will help health professionals and students prepare for the situations that are uncommon.”
The room was dedicated on Sept. 27, 2010 in the nursing department. The Drake family decided to dedicate the room to their daughters because the new mannequin is a child.
This is the second time the Drake family has given NMU a donation to help fund the nursing program. Their first donation was in 2005 and helped create the Benda-Drake Critical Care Simulation Room.
The donation was in honor of an NMU student who performed CPR and first aid on Cathi when she collapsed in a Houghton restaurant. All of the technological equipment and beds in the simulation room were purchased with the first donation given by the Drakes.
The room is now being used by the nursing students in their training. Julia Antonissen, senior in the nursing program, is one student who is grateful for the new room.
“The room offers a similar surrounding to the hospital along with the similar equipment, making it easier to relate to disease processes of children and helping us by being able to respond quicker by knowing the equipment,” Antonissen said.