NORTH PLATTE–They aren’t real, but observers will have to remind themselves of that.
In the coming weeks, a new mother and baby will take up residence in the nursing simulation lab at North Platte Community College. Their wide blinking eyes, gasps and reactions to their new surroundings are incredibly believable – almost as good as the real thing.
The mother, Victoria® S2220, is the world’s most life-like childbirth simulator. Her baby, Super Tory® S2220, is the first newborn simulator developed to meet the challenges of neonatal care specialist training in real environments.
Victoria and Super Tory are not the first simulators NPCC has used to train nursing students, but they will make educational scenarios more realistic than ever.
In an interview with KCNI, MPCC President Ryan Purdy said the previous simulator was being retired due to a worn out motor after delivering more than 400 simulator babies.
“Victoria–she comes with a couple of babies but also with different bellies. They can put a belly on her that has a 27-week-old fetus, they can do ultrasounds, they can check positions. She can bleed, she can flat line, she can vomit,” President Purdy continued.
“It’s kind of crazy what these things can do. The babies, same thing. Baby’s heart rate, baby’s breathing, baby’s cries. All the arms and legs move, you can draw blood, you can put an IV in them, I mean it’s amazing.”
“There are a lot more bells and whistles with this mom, than on the simulators we’ve had in the past,” said Marina Makovicka, nurse educator and chair of the college’s health occupations division. “We can put real OB belts on her, can code and intubate her and her tanks can be filled with different types of mock bodily fluids. She also comes with three bellies, one with a 27-week-old fetus in it, so we can do ultrasounds.”
Another belly can be cut open to give students an up-close look at C-sections.
“She has realistic skin that can be stitched up, and then new skin goes on,” Makovicka said. “When you walk in the room, she will look at you – follow you around with her eyes.”
Victoria’s interactive eyes are more than unique — they are game changing. Not only can she track objects, her eyes can also reveal signs of stress, stroke, head trauma, drug use, nerve impairment and many other diseases and conditions.
Victoria can be used to simulate early pregnancy complications, high-risk deliveries and postpartum emergencies that students might not otherwise witness during clinicals.
She can be converted into a non-pregnant patient if needed and comes with a vascular system so students can practice assessments. Audio streaming capabilities allow nursing instructors to talk through Victoria to the students. Her airway, breathing and circulation are programmable.
“She is capable of birthing a full-term baby of realistic size and weight,” Makovicka said. “The baby will stay alive for at least 10 minutes. It breathes, cries and has a heartbeat.”
Like her mom, Super Tory can blink her eyes. She can cry, grunt with visible mouth movement, extend her arms and legs, go into seizures and convulsions, and her muscle tone is programmable. Super Tory’s chest rises and falls as she breathes, and her breakthrough respiratory system accurately responds to mechanical ventilation support like a real newborn.
The introduction of Victoria and Super Tory will allow the college to phase out the original mother, Noel, and baby, Hal, simulators, which have been used for the past seven years. Their life expectancy was five years.
“We take very good care of them,” Makovicka said. “I give them baths and treat them like they are human, which is part of the reason they held up so well even though they went through a lot. The original mom birthed 427 babies in our lab.”
Victoria and Super Tory were purchased from Gaumard Simulators for Health Care Education for $110,649.15. The money came from the college’s instructional equipment fund.
“Our nursing students as soon as they graduate–whether they’re going for a nursing home, a long-term facility, whether it be a clinic or a hospital, they all have jobs,” President Purdy told KCNI.
The goal is to have both simulators set up by January so students can begin training on them.