The University of Texas-Pan American community was able to see a demonstration of how nursing and other health sciences students will learn how to treat patients through simulator manikins Friday, Oct. 22.
UTPA's College of Health Sciences and Human Services recently received a grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for almost $279,000 to purchase eight simulator manikins.
The grant was written so that graduate nursing students would be able to train using these simulators, but the college's nursing program plans to expand their use to undergraduate nursing students and eventually other students within the college. The manikins are expected to be available to students starting Spring 2011.
A representative from Laerdal, the vendor from which the manikins will be purchased, gave a brief demonstration of how the manikins, an adult and baby, replicate nearly every possible reaction and function humans can have.
Those who attended the demonstration were given the opportunity to test the simulators by checking the manikins' heart rate and blood pressure.
Health science students said they are looking forward to training with the manikins.
"This is like a real-life scenario," said Stephen Lozano, a PharmD candidate in UTPA's cooperative pharmacy program.
Lozano said pharmacy students can train with the manikins by checking their vital signs to detect abnormalities and monitor reactions to simulated drug administrations. He added that not many pharmacy students have this opportunity.
"I feel I'll have the edge over other pharmacy students," he said.
Nasreen Sultana, a second-year physician assistant student, said the manikins are desperately needed to help students train.
"We don't have much hands-on experience unless we do rotations," Sultana said.
Read more about the grant.