SLCC virtual hospital helps prepare nursing students as healthcare professionals

Louisiana Network

LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) — U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy toured the virtual hospital at South Louisiana Community College’s Health and Sciences Building in Lafayette today.​

At SLCC, nursing students have the opportunity to learn from high-tech patient simulators acting as real-life patients.

Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA), said, “The sophistication of the models that these students are working on is fantastic… even the layout of the building. I walked in expecting to see a community college. Instead, I had the whole vibe of a hospital.”

SLCC’s virtual hospital in Lafayette is a simulated hospital where students can train on high-fidelity patient simulators.

Graciana Breaux, simulation and skills lab coordinator with the nursing faculty at SLCC, demonstrated a patient simulator saying, “As you can see, his chest is actually rising and falling. He’s breathing. I can also oscillate his heart, his lung sounds, his abdominal sounds. All of his pulses. He has pulses throughout… very bounding pulses. We could start IV’s on him. He’s run by a computer that we have scenarios on the computer.”

The patient simulators range from low to high fidelity, meaning the higher the fidelity, the closer they are to life-like.

“We have a mock cold, and the mock cold, the patient actually deteriorates. They (students) have the opportunity to respond… respond with the correct medication, the correct tasks, procedures, so that helps prepare them when they’re going into the critical setting in their senior year,” added Breaux.

Each patient simulator helps prepare SLCC nursing students for the future of taking care of patients.

Breaux explained, “They could do everything. NG tubes, feeding. So they could do everything on the mannequin before going into the facility or a hospital, nursing home, long-term care, acute care situation, and actually learn to become more comfortable working.”

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