LIFELIKE: Sim man helps medical professionals practice

SANDUSKY Thanks for saving my life. Before health care professionals at Firelands Reg
Sandusky Register Staff
May 24, 2010



Thanks for saving my life.

Before health care professionals at Firelands Regional Medical Center hear those words from a patient, they will hear it first from sim man.

Sim man is a universal patient simulator -- he breathes, talks and even has heart attacks. Instructors control sim man with a computer while students work to save his life just like they would in real life.

"The nice thing about sim man is you put all the pieces together without using a real patient," said Marisa Munafo, education specialist at Firelands. "It makes our nurses top-notch."

Purchased with the help of a grant from the Randolph J. and Estelle M. Dorn Foundation, sim man is used by nursing students, medical residents and current nurses and physicians from both inside and outside Firelands. Students and health care professionals can use all the tools they'd need in a real-life situation on sim man -- they can put chest tubes in sim man, inflate his lungs and give him shots.

"It gives the students a little more confidence," said Holly Price, director of the Firelands School of Nursing.

Before universal simulators like sim man, health care students would walk through emergency situations in a classroom. Instructors contend there is a big difference between saying what should be done in a situation and actually doing it. That's where sim man comes in.

Advanced cardiac life support coordinator Terry Lyster attended a simulation conference in Indiana to learn how to write new computer programs for sim man.

Every two years, nurses must be certified in advanced cardiac life support, so sim man is used for training.

"The docs love him and the nurses love him," Lyster said.

Joe Delasanti of Firelands plant operations provides the voices for sim man. The hospital hopes to soon add another sim man and a baby simulator to its program.