How Simulation is Helping Nurses Fight the Flu

Every flu season between 37 to 171 children die because of the flu. The 2017-2018 flu season has been especially severe. In Florida alone, there have been 300 reported cases, and nationally 84 pediatric deaths are attributed to the flu.

Considering the deadliness of this year’s flu season and the particular risk to children younger than five years the flu poses, Seminole State College in Orlando is preparing their nursing students to deal with pediatric emergencies caused by the flu. Proper training in how to respond to these emergencies could help save lives.

Respiratory specialist students in Seminole State College are the first in the nation to receive flu-specific training. The nursing students will use Super Tory, the world’s most advanced newborn simulator, to diagnose and treat pediatric patients who suffer the severe effects of the flu.

Super Tory is a first of its kind simulator. She was designed, developed, and manufactured with the help of doctors to better understand how a real baby behaves and cries. She can realistically produce sounds like crying and grunting with lifelike mouth movements, display different breath rates, and even become cyanotic. These are just a few of the many symptoms and ailments that she can simulate and that the nursing students at Seminole State College will use to develop their diagnostic skills.

Since the current flu season began, more infants than normal have been admitted to hospitals suffering from respiratory distress. Flu symptoms often mimic many different respiratory diseases like grunting, retractions, cyanosis, and breathing quickly. Thus, nurses need to have good diagnostic skills to recognize the symptoms of flu and treat them quickly.

Super Tory can mimic many flu-like symptoms, and her lifelike features help immerse students in the simulation. By using visual and physical cues to recognize when a patient is suffering from the flu, the students can prepare to diagnose and treat respiratory emergencies and save the life the patient.

During pediatric rotations, nursing students rarely get the chance to work on a real patient suffering from respiratory problems directly. As such, pediatric rotations tend to be more observation-based.  However, observation alone does not properly train nursing students on how to respond to an emergency situation.

Super Tory allows the students to be more hands-on. Students can interact with Super Tory and practice various procedures on her like intubation, CPR, and ventilation. Therefore, Seminole State College’s nursing students are learning how to diagnose and treat the flu before they enter the hospital and interact with a real patient.

With a real baby, medical professionals do not have the option to make mistakes and learn from those mistakes. Simulation gives students the opportunity to practice routine and complex procedures until they master them repeatedly. When they are confronted with a real patient, they will know exactly how to assess the patient and respond to the emergency quickly.

To watch the full report, click here. To learn more about Super Tory, the world’s most advanced newborn simulator visit the Gaumard website or click on the link.

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