Thanks to the development of some very realistic masks and body parts, professors are dressing up like some of the characters that students at the nursing school may encounter in real life to help them learn to do their job under any circumstances.
The art of simulation in the nursing school environment has gained a lot of momentum in recent years, with schools like Hilo in Hawaii installing entirely electronic and realistic hospital settings in the student hospital. The simulation taking place at Colorado State University is a little different, in some fairly big ways.
The professors dress up in life-like masks and take on the personas of their characters, helping the students to momentarily forget that they aren’t real patients. They can act (and react) to student personalities, bedside manner, and even critique them as they receive care.
By becoming the patients, the professors can also evaluate how well each student is learning the lessons they have accumulated during their time in the nursing school. The “patients” can then guide students into proper procedure and offer up some challenges they have learned in their own professional careers.
The equipment was originally invented in Australia by a nursing professor and is new to nursing schools in the United States. The nursing school at Colorado State is the first in the U.S. to use the technology in curriculum this way. Colorado State is already equipped with reactive mannequins in the nursing school’s “hospital ward” where students learn the ins and outs of day to day hospital duties.
The result of the nursing school’s use of the realistic masks and acting scenarios is better understanding for students, who are more likely to feel confident in their abilities as a nurse following graduation.