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Nursing students learning on their feet with high-tech mannequins

Published: Feb. 16, 2016 at 10:19 PM CST|Updated: Feb. 16, 2016 at 10:40 PM CST
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(Source: KLTV Staff)
(Source: KLTV Staff)
(Source: KLTV Staff)
(Source: KLTV Staff)

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - An East Texas professor says the future of nursing is happening here and now in Tyler.

High-tech mannequins at TJC are giving nurses and nursing students hands-on experience in labor and delivery scenarios.

For the past year, nursing students at TJC have used simulation labs, with mannequins like "expecting mother Noelle" to prepare them for the real thing.

"It is different being able to talk to them and speak with them. They give us answers, give us problems stuff like that. It is very helpful; it's the closest thing that comes to a real life person," said student Justin Vance.

Tuesday, Noelle gave birth to a little boy, Hal, weighing 5 pounds and 19 inches.

While students are in the room with the patients, the professor teaches from a control room, programming each lesson.

"Baby Hal was not breathing very well. It probably took them about two or three minutes, and as soon as they gave him the breaths, baby Hal started crying and you could almost see the relief spread throughout the room," said professor Ginger Christiansen

Christiansen says Noelle has 25 built in scenarios.

"We can react to what is going on in the scenario. So each one may play a little out different," Christiansen said.

Christiansen says the future of nursing is learning on your feet.

"The days of lecturing and taking notes are pretty much passed. We've got to make sure that the knowledge base is there but they have to apply what they know," Christiansen said.

It's not just students that are learning. Christiansen says labor and delivery nurses from Trinity Mother Frances and ETMC are using the simulation for extra training. There are also plans to include neonatal ICU staff.

"The students can learn. The nurses from the hospital can come over here and they can learn, and the community benefits," Christiansen said.

Students also work with a pediatric patient, a patient in intensive care, and patients that need to be connected to a ventilator.

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