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New Childbirth Simulator Brings State-of-the-Art Technology to Obstetrics Curriculum

Students in the University of Houston College of Nursing are using new state-of-the-art technology in obstetrics curriculum. The Gaumard Childbirth simulator is a new training mannequin that is life size, pregnant and able to present the many situations that can arise during the birthing process. The experience gives students an opportunity to learn and practice this aspect of patient care.

Montage of photos of nurses using a childbirth simulation manikin to deliver a baby manikin

“The patient is connected to a computer system. She responds and the students have the opportunity to practice interventions,” said Tracy McManaman-Bridges, lecturer in the college’s Second Degree BSN program. “They are able to experience delivering a baby and responding to an emergency, such as post-partum bleeding, dystocia and C-Section.”

Technicians control the mannequin—named Victoria—through a computer program, which allows the faculty to assist the students as they maneuver and negotiate the realistic experience. The mannequin talks and conveys discomfort. Students also can monitor the baby’s heart rate.

This is the best technology available, McManaman-Bridges said.

“Not a lot of nursing programs have this. This tool has added a lot to the OB curriculum,” she said. “It’s so realistic. Students get very absorbed in it. They get nervous. They shake—it’s that real. But they really feel like they are prepared for an OB experience after working with her.”

The Second Degree BSN program is an intense, accelerated, year-long program for individuals who have a bachelor’s or master’s degree in other fields, but want to become registered nurses. Students draw on their knowledge of the social sciences, biology, humanities and nursing to become well-rounded nursing professionals. For more information visit the College of Nursing's Second Degree BSN page.

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