Foundation Grants Funds for New Technology Called SimBaby

Mar 01, 2006

SimBaby is a life-like manikin that provides realistic conditions where staff can practice a number of patient care procedures.

Training techniques that have been used for years in the airline industry are now being put to the test in the healthcare field. While you’ve probably heard of flight simulators that allow pilots to practice various scenarios before actually flying a real airplane, chances are you haven’t heard of SimBaby. SimBaby is a life-like manikin that provides realistic conditions where staff can practice a number of patient care procedures.

“Before SimBaby, nurses literally practiced some invasive procedures for babies on chicken bones,” said Debbie Goodwin, the hospital’s Education Services Manager. “We created our own simulation using whatever tools we could come up with,” continued Debbie. “Obviously, SimBaby allows us to take our training to the next level in a much more realistic setting.”

Part of that realism is SimBaby’s ability to cry, breathe, and even have an irregular heart beat. The simulation specialists can set up whatever scenario staff want to work on.

“It’s such a wonderful tool for not only learning, but also for giving staff the chance to brush up on some high risk procedures in a non-threatening environment,” said Jeanine Bauer, clinical nurse educator and one of four hospital staff receiving extensive training on SimBaby to become simulation specialists.

But like much of the equipment used in the high-tech world of healthcare, SimBaby is not inexpensive. Cost of the baby and the computer used to program it was $23,000, which was paid for by a grant from the Salem Hospital Foundation.

“We’re grateful that the Foundation felt SimBaby was a worthwhile project to spend its resources on,” said Debbie. The hospital also received outside grants to purchase two SimMans, which use the same technology and principles as SimBaby, only are adult manikins.

Salem Health

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