Nurses, doctors, and health care students in Iowa who want to train on a pediatric patient can now go to Mercy Medical Center in Cedar Rapids. As reported on KCRG-TV 9 News, Mercy is one of the first hospitals in Iowa to acquire Pediatric HAL and use him to train their nurse residency students.
Photo & Video Credit: Dave Franzman KCRG TV9.
The Mercy Foundation funded the purchase of Pediatric HAL, and he will join other patient simulators currently in use by the hospital. These simulators will help train health care professionals at Mercy and other students in eastern Iowa.
Pediatric HAL has a variety of advanced features that allow him to look, feel, and react like a real pediatric patient. He can display facial expressions that mimic the symptoms of various ailments, his eyes can follow the nurses’ movements, and he can give verbal responses in reaction to what the students are doing to him.
Moreover, the students can use real needles to collect fluids from him, and he will begin to cry realistic tears. This level of realism allows students to immerse themselves more fully into the simulation and learn how to respond to the needs of pediatric patients.
As Tiffany Schmitt, a Mercy Nursing Resident explains, “the more realistic [Pediatric HAL’s] reactions [are to our actions,] [the] more realistic [the] training [becomes for us]. HAL just reacts to whatever we do to him and it helps us learn.”
Unlike real pediatric patients, if the students make a mistake while running a procedure, the instructor can reset the scenario and try again. This allows the students to learn from their mistakes until they master the medical procedures they will use in the real world.