BEACH -- Meet SimMan, a computerized patient
simulator that will soon be the center of high-tech training at The
University of Southern Mississippi's Gulf Park campus.
Laerdal's SimMan is a full-body mannequin that actually
breathes and speaks. He has heart, breath and bowel sounds and pulses
that can be felt. SimMan has a unique patented airway that allows
for insertion of a breathing tube and the practice of multiple Advanced
Life Support skills.
You can perform CPR on Laerdal SimMan, or even shock
him with defibrillators. If necessary, you can make him die - all
for the purpose of putting nursing students and emergency professionals
in a realistic situation. Not to worry, SimMan comes back to life
again to train the next group of participants.
According to Laerdal representative Joe Huse, Southern
Miss is the first in the state of Mississippi to purchase the $38,000
Answering the need for affordable, easy-to-use, extremely
realistic training, SimMan provides the opportunity to practice
lifesaving clinical, technical and decision-making skills without
the risk to patients or health care providers.
Studies show patient simulation has reduced costs
and malpractice risks in the heath care industry. Southern Miss
sees the opportunities SimMan can provide not only for its nursing
students, but also for continuing education training for the Gulf
"Learners will use SimMan to apply and integrate
knowledge, skill and critical thinking in a safe, non-threatening
environment," said Dr. Mary Coyne, Gulf Coast professor and
chair of the College of Health. "Students will gain confidence
in skills prior to taking care of real-life patients. Our ultimate
goal is to provide the Gulf Coast with outstanding nurses and other
health care professionals who provide safe quality care to Mississippians."
It has been estimated that despite the heroic, lifesaving
efforts of health care professionals, thousands of patients die
annually because of medical error. Simulation training is rapidly
advancing as an important component of medical education.
"This is very exciting. It will allow the students
to be exposed to situations that they normally do not have the opportunity
to experience," said Jennifer Dumal, vice president of patient
care services at Memorial Hospital at Gulfport. "It certainly
will enhance critical thinking skills, particularly in the area
of patient critical care."
For more information on SimMan, the university's undergraduate
and graduate nursing programs, and continuing education opportunities,
call (228) 865-4517.