Nursing students train to save lives in E.R. simulator at Blackhawk Technical College

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For nursing students, hands-on experience is essential to developing the skills they will need to save lives.

During a media tour on Wednesday at Blackhawk Technical College, at 6004 S County Rd G, some nursing students were surprised with a mock emergency, where the “lives” of three simulated patients were on the line.

The patients in the simulated operating room looked, sounded, moved and felt real, but they’re weren’t. They’re part of a state-of-the-art technology that simulates scenarios they could encounter in the real world.

“We have multiple mannequins that are able to do things that real patients would be able to do,” said Kristy Crocker, Simulation Center Director at Blackhawk Technical College. “We are able to do intubations deliver a baby, we are able to simulate the possibilities of what they might see out in the field.”

On Wednesday, students stabilized a trauma patient and even helped deliver a baby.

Nursing student Briana Juszczak has participated in training several times. She says the hands-on lessons are very helpful.

“It really is like a real scenario. She gives birth, that baby is being pushed out and if you’re not ready that baby is going to hit the floor. So, it’s really nice, and the new baby now is moving, it’s breathing, it’s turning colors. You can feel the chest rise,” said Juszczak of the simulated baby. “It’s really incredible to be able to experience what a real person is going to do underneath you.”

Instructors watched the students perform from behind a two-way mirror. Afterwards, the instructors meet with the students to discuss what they did right and what they did wrong.

“It’s nice to be able to just practice before we get into the clinical site, so we were more prepared for what’s coming for our patient,” Juszczak said.

“These simulators are wireless, you see that they weren’t plugged into anything and they’re controlled by that makes them operate in that realistic fashion,” said James Archetto, Vice President of Gaumard Scientific.

“There isn’t a lot of publicity for the technology of these simulators, but they are actually all over the country and all over the world,” Archetto said.

Every year, as many as 300 students participate in Gaumard Scientific’s simulations. Blackhawk also offers it to paramedics, firefighters, and hospitals.

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