Katie Haskins, left, watches as Kate Carlomagno checks the SimMan mannequin's blood pressure during an open house at the Moffat County School District administrative building Monday night.

Ben Bulkeley

Katie Haskins, left, watches as Kate Carlomagno checks the SimMan mannequin's blood pressure during an open house at the Moffat County School District administrative building Monday night.

Real world experience on fake patient

CNCC nursing program introduces SimMan

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Nursing students at Colorado Northwestern Community College are finding a fake person can help them get real world experience.

CNCC recently has started using a SimMan computerized mannequin to simulate scenarios that the nursing students may face in the real world.

The new model, which comes complete with software that simulates real situations in real time, joins Noelle - a mannequin that simulates birthing.

On Monday night, the school hosted an open house to showcase the new patient.

"This is the closest we've been with real emergency situations, and we're learning without making mistakes," CNCC nursing student Katie Haskins said. "Before, with Noelle, we just practiced birthing, but now we can practice medical and surgical procedures."

Cyndi Nielson, who is also a student at CNCC, said that being able to train on a mannequin would help her in the real world.

"We get real life experience without harming anyone," Nielsen said.

Kelly Martin-Puleo, a CNCC nursing instructor and the SimMan coordinator for CNCC, demonstrated the capabilities of the new mannequin during the open house.

"This is a great opportunity not just for the students, but for the college as well," said Martin-Puleo. "And to have it in Craig is just such an great opportunity for everyone in the program.

"The college is expanding and we're expanding our program and (the SimMan) will bring so much quality to the lessons. It's a testament to how much Craig cares about their community college."

The SimMan also gives lessons more flare, she said.

"And it's fun, as well, which helps during the lessons," Martin-Puleo said. "When (a lesson) is fun it makes it stick. It also teaches the students to work together. : It really promotes teamwork."

Marilyn Hehr, nursing program director at CNCC, said the SimMan will help students learn a number of new lessons because each student will have a chance to try each aspect of a drill.

"There are a number of scenarios that we can run and because this is only a two-year, program some students may not get the same experience," Hehr said. "Now each student can take a different part in the scenario, and they learn more in the time they have here."

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