He Breathes, Talks, And Feels Pain, But He's Not Human - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

08/25/04

He Breathes, Talks, And Feels Pain, But He's Not Human

The patient lying on a gurney starts complaining "I feel really bad." He's certainly not afraid to tell you he's in pain.

If you get close, be careful.  He can bite.

But he's no human being.

Meet SimMan, a life-size, computerized mannequin that can talk, breathe and even die.

Nursing Senior Crystal Phalp said, "When I saw it breathing, I flipped out. Oh it's breathing! I couldn't believe it. It's incredible."

SimMan is now a permanent patient at the USM campus in Long Beach.

Joe Huse with Laerdal Medical Corporation said, "He has pulses, as well as breath sounds, heart sounds, bowel sounds."

This plastic person is designed for all sorts of medical problems.

Huse said, "So you can have broken bones and impaled objects and bleeding wounds."

And it's up to the nursing and continuing education students to figure out what's wrong with him and treat it. Because SimMan can be programmed for any type of medical crisis, students get realistic training to handle any emergency.

Nursing senior Bobby Bellanger said, "It's amazing.  It's very hard to simulate things with real people. So this will give us the opportunity to simulate wounds and scenarios and heart problems and vein problems."

Nursing Instructor Paula Kopp said, "Everybody can get through the same scenario and succeed and have confidence before they touch a real patient. We can go into the hospital now and we've already practiced."

SimMan seems so real, he even comes with personality quirks and a sense of humor. During a diagnosis, he joked, "Isn't it time for my sponge bath?"

Phalp said, "I think it's going to make us really good nurses and I think it's going to be a wonderful tool for us."

USM spent $38,000 to buy SimMan. It comes with female body parts, allowing students to treat it as a female patient "Simone." Look for Sim-Baby to come out next year.

By: Trang Pham-Bui

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