(SWEETWATER, Texas) – Victoria is not a real patient, but “she” does play a vital role in the training of Texas State Technical College’s Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) students.
Victoria is a medical manikin that simulates a full range of obstetrical events to facilitate teamwork and deepen critical thinking skills for nursing students, according to Gaumard, her manufacturer.
“Being able to provide this type of training is important for our students,” said Wendy Proctor, interim director of the ADN program in Sweetwater. “Our students are only able to watch deliveries during clinicals. This is an essential part of their training, and they can now take part in a simulated birthing process.”
Proctor said students can see various stages of a pregnancy and many types of births can be simulated, including a normal birth, a breech birth and a cesarean section.
“We also have the capability of allowing the students to monitor the baby while it is in the womb,” said Linnea Brown, an ADN instructor. “Students can also perform an EKG (electrocardiogram) on the mother, if needed.”
How do the students know what to do during the delivery process? The answer comes from Victoria herself.
“She can talk to the students and let them know she is in pain,” Proctor said. “She can also answer their questions.”
Instructors use a computer to simulate Victoria’s interactions with students.
“During one of our recent high school tours, we had Victoria introduce herself to everyone. It was amazing to see the students’ reaction,” Proctor said.
Current ADN students did some simulations with Victoria during the fall semester. Proctor said additional training will be provided when they return for the spring semester.
“The students have loved the interaction they have with Victoria,” Proctor said. “This provides them with real-world experiences in a safe environment.”
Some of the other features of Victoria, according to Gaumard’s website, are interactive eyes, a fully programmable airway, recognition of more than 50 virtual medications, and the ability to convert into a nonpregnant manikin.
Proctor said the Sweetwater campus is working to secure a second Victoria and a pediatric manikin. She said the ADN program at TSTC’s Harlingen campus is also planning to obtain a Victoria simulator.
According to onetonline.org, registered nursing jobs were forecast to increase 17% in Texas between 2020 and 2030. The median annual salary for registered nurses in Texas is $79,830, the website showed.
TSTC also offers Vocational Nursing at the Breckenridge, Sweetwater and Harlingen campuses.
For more information about TSTC, visit tstc.edu.