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CVTC welcomes new health care simulation mannequins

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

CVTC welcomes new health care simulation mannequins

Image: CVTC welcomes new health care simulation mannequins

Students and instructors in health care education programs at Chippewa Valley Technical College in River Falls and Eau Claire are learning all about their new simulation mannequins as students come back to school for the spring semester.

Blue veins snaked their way under skin on the hands of a new health care mannequin in the Simulation Center at Chippewa Valley Technical College in River Falls.

The life-sized and life-like figures are sophisticated pieces of techy machinery made to help teach nursing students skills they need to begin working on the real thing – patients.

Theresa Meinen, CVTC Simulation Center coordinator and director of clinical education in the respiratory therapy program, said the college was able to purchase 10 mannequin simulators in total – six for the Eau Claire campus and four for the River Falls campus. The purchase was made with the help of a federally funded grant spurred by covid.

Meinen said that the college previously had many mannequin simulators, but some were “very old,” and the newest models were between five and seven years old. Technology changes quickly, and new mannequins were a must.

“With Covid and having to convert much of our respiratory education to simulation, we needed to have better-equipped mannequins and more as well to effectively teach during the pandemic,” Meinen said. “Prior to Covid, respiratory education was all done clinically. We weren’t able to fully train with ventilators on simulators before this.

The goal is to provide the most life-like scenarios possible to prepare students for clinical interaction with actual patients. However, students in health care fields at CVTC must put in a set amount of hours at bedsides. Not all learning can be done on the simulators. But the mannequins do provide an impressive array of features.

“The new mannequins are pretty incredible,” Meinen said. “We program the scenarios we need, and the mannequin reacts. We can very closely replicate a clinical setting now. What we have is a better representation of what students will see in the clinical site.”

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