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“Beep-bop-boop” is not the first sounds you might imagine when thinking of childbirth.
On Wednesday, UNCG School of Nursing faculty excitedly revealed to the world SimMom, a full-body childbirth simulator. Wireless, flexible, and fully operational, the simulator is the first model of its kind from the medical technology pioneers at Laerdal, a Norwegian company.
SimMom is not a robot, even though that may sound much better to sci-fi fans. Laerdal’s Director of Maternal and Patient Care, Sarah Sue Miller, RN, explained to everyone attending the exhibit how SimMom is a revolutionary teaching tool for nursing students. As she demonstrated SimMom’s capabilities, such turning it over to its side, pushing its knees up to its chest, and deflating and expanding its belly, onlookers were astonished.
The simulator comes equipped with a six-pound simulated newborn baby, umbilical cord, and placenta. School of Nursing Dean Robin Remsburg also discussed the new $45,000, high-tech addition on campus, and its versatility in showing peripartum emergencies, such as a breached baby, inverted uterus, retained placenta, and prolapsed umbilical cord.
Courses in the School of Nursing program have included at least one simulation since 2007, but that is number is steadily increasing. Clinical instructor Crystal Lamb expressed her own excitement, as SimMom may help achieve her goal of having up to three or more emergency simulations in each course in UNCG’s nursing program.
“As nurses and clinical professionals, we have to make sure these students get to experience medical emergencies as realistically as possible. To feel free to make mistakes without anyone being physically harmed, but to also feel the pressure of providing quick care,” says Lamb.
With the weight and flexibility of SimMom, it could potentially serve in other situations, not just childbirth. By replacing old crash-test dummies, simulator models may serve as victims in a fatal car crash that need emergency medical transport. Its wireless capabilities make it useful in almost any location, especially for interdisciplinary medical courses on campus.
SimMom is the newest addition to the School of Nursing’s SCENE learning area, the Simulation Center for Experiential Nursing Education, which takes up most of the fourth floor of the Moore Nursing Building.