Nursing Students Provide Demonstration of FSU’s State-Of-The-Art Simulation Rooms

Nursing Students Provide Demonstration of FSU’s State-Of-The-Art Simulation Rooms

Mar 26, 2018

By Allison Wharton, publications intern

Three nurses rush into a mock hospital room to attend to a patient. Machines are beeping and they begin performing CPR, while a voice overhead instructs them on procedures. This is one of the many simulations that takes place for students in the nursing programs at Framingham State, only instead of treating humans, the patients are state-of-the-art manikins that blink, breath and respond.

Students from the Master of Science in Nursing Program (MSN) recently showed off the nursing simulation labs. The facilities includes five manikins ranging from low-fidelity to high-fidelity, ten exam areas, two hospital suites, a homecare suite and a debriefing room.

According to Dr. Cynthia Bechtel, professor and coordinator of the MSN program, the facility opened last year. The manikins blink, breathe and can respond to nurses.

Most of the students are training to direct and teach the simulations in colleges and hospitals.

“Nurses can practice interacting with patients. …  It takes the anxiety away,” she says. “The students are allowed to make mistakes.”

Simulations may include nurses having to deal with asthma, cardiac arrest and even end of life care. 

They are two hospital suites where nurses work with the high-fidelity manikins, which are operated in a control room that sits in between the suites and is concealed by one-way glass. 

One student operated a preprogrammed stimulation on a computer. As the students complete certain tasks, the operator checked it off in the program which generates a patient's response.

She also spoke into a microphone as the patient in order for nurses to practice conversation.

Instructor Caitlin Pettengill said the best part of the facility is it “increases a nurse’s self-esteem.” Confident caregivers are better for everyone.

She explained that simulations were first used in the military. There were not enough trained doctors to teach new generations, so scientists created manikins to help educate doctors. It was then extended to be used throughout medical training.

Student Katie Kirkland, as well as several other nurses, said this type of technology was not available to her when she was training to be an RN.

“It’s the next step in medical education,” she said. 

About Framingham State University

Framingham State University was founded in 1839 as the nation’s first public university for the education of teachers. Since that time, it has evolved into a vibrant, comprehensive liberal arts institution offering small, personalized classes on a beautiful New England campus. Today, the University enrolls more than 6,000 students with 58 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in the arts, humanities, sciences, social sciences and professional fields. As a State College and University (SCU), Framingham State prides itself on quality academic programs, affordability, and commitment to access for all qualified students.