Oklahoma City, OK (NursingSalary.org) – Kramer School of Nursing in Oklahoma City University is to get two new patients next year. While they are not flesh and bone people, they have lungs, they bleed, sweat and make human-like sounds.
A federal grant amounting $231,860 was given to OCU for the acquisition of two METI iStan patient simulators and two METIVision video and audio systems. These patient simulators are life-sized mannequins that can be programmed to display various signs of symptoms and medical conditions, like irregular pulses or lung sounds mimicking respiratory conditions. They can be given injections and respond similarly to the human body. Eyes are reactive and feature both automatic and manual pupillary response and control. The grant has been offered by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and is 100% backed up by federal funds.
The METIVision panels are synchronized in real time with the iStan’s and will monitor and review the life signs of the “patient” and the outcomes of the students’ actions and activities. Just like a regular life sign monitor, the METIVision can display physiological data, patient monitoring information, event logs or medication history. Logs can be downloaded to a computer via Bluetooth, wireless networking or standard, wired Ethernet.
Marvel Williamson, dean of OCU’s nursing school, said, in an interview on the University’s website, that the simulators will allow the professors to create scenarios imitating real life cases and allow the future nurses to practice in a safe environment, without the risks associated with dealing with real patients. Also, such a simulator will allow future nurses to experiment on extreme cases, like cardiac arrests or other major organ failures—it goes without saying that such scenarios cannot be “scheduled” on live patients.
With the advancement of technology, nursing educational facilities have to keep up with the trend in order to remain competitive. Kramer School of Nursing has been rapidly expanding over the last few years to address the national shortage in skilled registered nurses. January 2011 the nursing school is to move to a new location—a massive 50,000 square foot, 3-story building. The new facility will hold four nursing skill laboratories where students will get to “play” with their new iStan patients.