Nurses Get "Real Life" Experience

By: Ann McIntire Email
By: Ann McIntire Email

The best way to learn anything, is practicing on something as close to the real thing as possible. A local college says that's true for nursing.

In a patient's room at the Nebraska Methodist College at 87th and Burt, a trach tube is being cleared, but the nurses aren't certified... not yet. "Just learning it, this semester," said student, Amanda Ragland.

The patients are mannequins. "It's realistic and it helps you learn," said Ragland. "The teacher's are great to help us and provide the equipment for us, so it's a benefit to us as students."

"It's in ways, nerve-racking, because that's real life stuff and you have to think about some day I'm actually going to be doing this to someone, and you hope what you're doing is right, and that's what this helps with," said Jenny Fisher, another nursing student.

"Gregg" the patient, is part of the Watson family, six high fidelity mannequins made to be as life-like as possible. "Their chest rises and falls, and they do, he blinks, he's got peripheral pulses, he's basically a computer," said Jenny Elbracht, Assistant Professor at Nebraska Methodist College.

The mannequins have all different health scenarios. Noelle, a labor and delivery mannequin, can give birth, but it's not just for students to practice on, doctors and nurses for Methodists Women Hospital will be coming to the college next month to work with Noelle on different delivery and labor complications.

"If they do practice it here and they're familiar with what could happen, and then it does happen out in practice, at least they've had this experience," said Elbracht. Experience for when they are working on real patients, in the real world.

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