Xavier Magazine

Growing Family

Stan the Man is no longer a bachelor. The high-tech patriarch of the School of Nursing—originally called Stan for “standard man” and affectionately renamed Al—has been joined by a whole family of life-sized, computer-driven mannequins that help train nursing students. And two more are on order.

Now the growing family includes a high-tech child called Little Al (or Allison depending on the lesson of the day), as well as two lower-tech adults and a lower-tech child. A low-tech adult and baby are on the way.

The entire family has been acquired with grant money, and now another grant application is in the works. If the department wins that grant, it will buy two more high-fidelity simulators—a premature baby and an adult—for a total of nine. The high-tech mannequins blink, speak, breathe and mirror authentic human reactions to typical medical procedures such as CPR, ventilation, catheterization, intubation, blood pressure readings and administration of intravenous medications. Their lower-tech brethren produce sounds but do not have movement or automatic responses.

All are highly valuable training tools, says Mary Sizemore, director for health arts and simulation. Performing medical procedures on patients without risk of harming them is priceless practice for nursing students. And as the number of nursing students continues to grow at Xavier, so does the need for patient simulators.

“Our plan is to knock out a wall to expand the lab for the premature baby and adult,” Sizemore says. “The amazing thing about nursing is [School Director] Sue Schmidt applies for and wins grants so we can keep buying things and move the department forward.”

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