Sim Man Further Enhances Learning Environment for LSC-O Nursing Students

Suzanne Baker, Sherri Allen and Lynette Gipson with the Sim Man

Upward Mobility and LVN nursing students at Lamar State College-Orange are known for being some of the most prepared in the nursing field, and that doesn’t appear to be changing any time soon. Nursing students at LSC-O were recently introduced to the Sim Man, or Simulation Man, to help ease the transition from studying books to hands-on clinical training. As a full scale, interactive patient simulator, the Sim Man allows students to perform relevant skills and simulate learning scenarios that may be encountered in real-life situations for these nurses in training.

The allied health division at LSC-O applied for a Jobs and Education for Texans Grant from the state of Texas and received 137,603 dollars to use for new equipment in July of 2010. Allied Health Director, Gina Simar, says receiving the Sim Man has motivated and excited students about using the technology to learn various nursing skills and techniques in the simulation setting.

“This type of learning environment gives students the opportunity to learn from scenarios that they, perhaps, would not have been exposed to in their normal clinical rotations,” she said.

This technology allows instructors to be viewing the students on camera in one room and manipulate the patient (Sim Man) to show different signs and symptoms. The students then respond with the proper nursing actions. Later, after the learning scenario, the students and instructor can view the entire experience in a debriefing session to discuss what was done correctly or incorrectly.

“The students are less apprehensive in dealing with the illnesses presented to them in this type of learning environment,” she said.

Christus-St. Mary Hospital in Port Arthur donated rooms for LSC-O to use with the Sim Man and to store it, as well as classrooms for debriefing after the learning sessions. Christus-St. Mary will also have the opportunity to utilize the equipment for staff competency testing that is required by regulatory agencies. Suzanne Baker, clinical instructor for the vocational nursing program at LSC-O, says having the Sim Man located at the hospital allows for a permanent clinical site in addition to the various other sites with use in the area.

“This site can be utilized every day of the week for all shifts, as compared to area facilities that we may only have access to a couple of days per week, and perhaps only the day shift option,” she said.

Baker says that even though the nursing students have only been in their clinical training for three weeks now, there has been a positive response so far from the students.

“It is a definite enhancement and benefit for their assessment skills so far.”