Dyersburg State students use "dummy" to learn nursing procedures

DYERSBURG, TN (WMC-TV) - Imagine going from textbook to triage without having any hands on experience.  It's a pretty scary thought, but students at one Mid-South community college are using a unique tool to bridge that gap.

A simulated patient is helping nursing students at Dyersburg State Community College get ready to begin their career inside the hospital.

"We feel more comfortable and feel like we're adequately prepared when we're actually taking care of a patient in the hospital," nursing student Lora Tankersley said Thursday.

"Dealing with humans is a very hard job and I think dealing with SIM man gives us the situation of knowing how to talk to a patient," student Lisa Ward continued.

Instructors use SIM man to teach students everything from how to treat a heart attack to how to deliver a baby.

"We can start IV's on SIM man.  We can give SIM man blood," said nursing instructor Gina Seratt.

The "dummy" patient is controlled by a computer, and students say it definitely helps them control their fears.

"Sticking another human being is probably one of the hardest things nursing students have to deal with, so having that anxiety taken away sticking him helps," Ward said.

And for soon-to-be nursing graduates, this robot is certainly no dummy when it comes to preparing students for the working world.

"I want my students to go into the clinical area and have confidence to perform the procedures that they're asked to do," Seratt said.

Dyersburg State students have been using SIM man for about two years, and officials there say it's probably one of their best investments ever.

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