PHARMACY students at Sunderland University have got themselves a crying, bleeding, convulsing, cardiac-arresting, living doll.
SimMan 3G is one of the world’s most technically advanced mannequins – the life-size human patient simulator can talk and breathe and is programmed with the latest software to react to a range of medical conditions, and can be examined for blood pressure, heart and lung function. Even his accent and sex can be changed.
Students can practise their clinical and decision-making skills on SimMan during realistic patient-care scenarios, from checking for a regular heartbeat to diagnosing respiratory problems, as they progress through their degree.
Michael Collins, senior lecturer in clinical skills, said: “SimMan 3G is enhancing the experience of our student pharmacists and is an advanced step from the mannequins used in the early days when training in first aid.
“This state-of-the-art technology offers the university the ability to provide realistic and challenging scenarios to students who can practise their examination skills, and decide on diagnosis and treatment of patients in a safe environment.”
SimMan is the latest investment in technologically advanced equipment to benefit students in the University’s multi-million pound Sciences Complex, which was officially opened in February last year by eminent scientist Lord Robert Winston.
Developing students’ clinical skills through SimMan is part of the national programme Modernising Pharmacy Careers (MPC), supported by the Department of Health and Medical Education England (MEE).
Sunderland’s Department of Pharmacy Health and Well-being introduced two of the simulation units as part of its pharmacy programme last term and sets them new challenges each term.
“The modern pharmacist’s role is changing significantly with great advances being made in the profession,” said Michael Collins.
“They now do much more than dispense medicines and are increasingly involved in a more patient-facing service, from offering guidance about medicine use to advice on minor illnesses.
“By the time our students graduate, we will hopefully have equipped them with the best clinical and communications skills to make them highly employable be able to interact with the medical professional at an advanced level.”
SimMan 3G, manufactured by Laerdal Medical Ltd, is already utilised in medical schools across the UK, but now the University of Sunderland is one of a number of pharmacy schools to invest in the technology in recognition of the pharmacist’s expanding role.
To watch a demonstration on how SimMan works and an interview with Mr Collins, download the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nPNNUeybdxo.