Nursing Students Find Perfect Practice Patient

He blinks. He breaths. He can even be made to "talk."

But the man lying in a hospital bed at Stormont-Vail HealthCare isn't a man at all. He's the METI-Man.

METI-Man is a human patient simulator. He can be programmed to simulate various situations a medical professional might encounter, such as heart attacks, collapsed lungs or a stroke.

Lisa Hinterweger, RN, a clinical educator for Stormont-Vail says the simulator allows new nurses or nursing students to practice or learn skills in a non-threatening environment, away from a patient's bedside.
She said it will ultimately lead to better patient safety, as nurses are more prepared for real-life situations. It will also increase the competence and confidence of nursing students.

Nursing students from Baker University have been using the simulator at Stormont-Vail for several weeks. A computer link allows supervisors to program in a scenerio, such as cardiac arrest. The students react just like it's the real thing.

Wendy Monteith, RN, Baker School of Nursing Simulation Lab Coordinator, says anything the students do within a scenerio, the METI-Man will respond physiologically like a human would. If the students give the wrong medicine, for example, he would respond to that.

Hinterweger says students become emotionally involved in the scenerios, forgetting the patients isn't real.

"Once they walk in and he starts blinking and breathing and they feel his pulse, you lose sight of the fact it's a mannequin," she said.
"It's a real patient."

After the simulation, the students and their supervisors talk about what they did right and what they might do better. Monteith says the ultimate goal is for students to become more confident in their skills once they've been through the scenerios.

The METI-Man cost $90,000 and was purchased through a partnership between the Stormont-Vail Foundation, Christ's Hospital, Baker School of Nursing, and Stormont-Vail HealthCare.


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