Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN


October 9, 2010

New Simulation Lab At DCMH Provides Training For Students, Pros

Greensburg — "I'm really hungry," Jesse said from his hospital bed.

Jesse is like many of the patients at Decatur County Memorial Hospital. Nurses check his pulse, give him his necessary medications, and check on his oxygen levels. However there's one big difference between Jesse and the rest of the patients at DCMH.

He's a mannequin.

Thursday, when David Colson and Karen Weigel of the Greensburg Eagles came to give a donation to the hospital, David Fry, DCMH's Director of Community Relations, and Michelle Franklin, RN and Staff Education Coordinator, gave Colson and Weigel a tour of the hospital's new simulation lab, a program the Eagles partially funded. Economic Opportunities through Education by 2015 (EcO 15) provided funding as well.

The hospital set up the simulation lab to give nursing students, pharmacy students, as well as other medical professionals at DCMH, a realistic environment in which to train themselves for realistic medical situations with patients.

The mannequin can exert a number of symptoms such as swelling of the tongue, dilation of the pupils and vomiting. Medical professionals and students can alter the mannequin to fit a number of medical situations.

"It can be both male and female," Franklin said. "It can even give birth."

Medical professionals can insert tubes into the chest to simulate a collapsed lung. The mannequin can also have many different illnesses, such as pneumonia and diabetes. It can simulate cardiac arrest, stroke and even amputation of limbs.

"We try to simulate things that are real," Frankling said. "Things like combine accidents and car accidents, things that (students and professionals) would encounter in our community."

The mannequin is also programmed to respond accordingly to treatments and medications. But if students and professionals give it the wrong treatments, it will get worse and even die.

The simulation lab is set up in the basement of the hospital. The practice room includes a bed and a heart monitor. The lab is regulated via computer by a professional in an outer room. From there, he or she can alter the patient's condition and the environment.

"If they need to practice a situation in which there's a power outage, they can do that," Franklin said.

In the lab, there are also two cameras on the ceiling which feed to a monitor in a separate room. This allows Franklin to see what's happening in the lab at all times.

After the presentation, Colson, Weigel, and Rob Hunter presented three more donations to the hospital on behalf of the Eagles - $2,000 for diabetic education, $2,000 for Oncology and an extra $400 for oncology, which the Eagles raised through a charity bingo fund raiser.

While the lab is only intended for use by medical professionals and students, DCMH will be hosting an community open house sometime in November for anyone interested in touring the lab.

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