Photo credit: Kali Thiel, University Affairs, Concordia University
During a medical emergency involving a pediatric patient, a highly trained and experienced health care professional can mean the difference between tragedy and a positive outcome. To ensure pediatric patients get the best care possible, Concordia University’s School of Nursing in Ann Arbor, Michigan has added a new high-fidelity patient simulator to their simulation lab. The new simulator will provide nursing students with more clinical experiences that will help their learning, prepare them to transition into the real world, and improve the care they provide to patients.
Pediatric HAL, the world’s most advanced pediatric patient simulator, will be Concordia’s ninth manikin. Students will use HAL in the school’s nursing and child life programs to help them prepare for the emergency situations they’ll face when they transition to the real world.
Concordia’s simulation program sets the school apart from other nursing programs in the state and the country. Nursing students are given weekly simulation experiences along with real clinical experiences. This allows the students to get extensive hands-on, experiential learning. As Campus Dean of Nursing Cindy Fenske argues: “Research shows that simulation is an effective tool to learn and enhance the development of clinical judgment skills.”
“Pediatric HAL will be a useful tool for teaching students at a variety of skill levels because of the mannequin’s sophisticated assessment capabilities,” says Ben Oliver, chief simulation specialist at Concordia.
Oliver notes that countless articles support the positives of simulation in education. With expertise in the technology, education, and engineering fields, Oliver is also in the unique position to understand the best ways to help set up an effective simulation program. He also had an integral role in setting up the University of Michigan’s $50 million simulation center.
“The clinical setting can be unpredictable for learning,” says Oliver. “Students may never see a single birth during their entire clinical experience.” However, simulation allows educators to stage several births in a matter of minutes, so students never miss an opportunity to learn. Moreover, the students develop their clinical skills and can receive immediate feedback on their performance.