Director of Nursing Education Kathy Ann Swan with 'Sim Mom', a life-sized mannequin which re-enacts giving birth. *Photo by Nicola Muirhead
Director of Nursing Education Kathy Ann Swan with 'Sim Mom', a life-sized mannequin which re-enacts giving birth. *Photo by Nicola Muirhead
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Bermuda College Director of Nursing Education Kathy Ann Swan gave the Bermuda Sun an exclusive look into the school's new Nursing Simulation laboratory, where students have been getting to know their new patients: Sim Mom and Sim Man.  

These uncannily realistic mannequins, who have been designed to mimic and reenact the sounds and movements of live patients, are the first of their kind in Bermuda's health care system; bringing the world of nursing education to a whole new level to the island.

"It is a first for Bermuda," Ms. Swan told the Sun.  "We've been talking about doing it for a long time and finally we've brought it to fruition!  Now we have to maximize it and really make sure that Sim Man and Sim Mom are integrated into our nursing curriculum."

The introduction of the college's new simulation laboratory, which is located on the bottom floor of the Technical Education Centre (Tech Hall), was a combined effort between the Bermuda College, The Bermuda Hospital's Board, The Department of Corrections, the Ministry of Health, and the Fire and Rescue Services.  Its purpose was to address the challenge of clinical space for health care education and the need to ensure that students pursuing the health care profession are properly exposed, and competent, in all types of health care practices.  

"This simulation laboratory is not just attached to the nursing programme that we started two years ago - the Associate Science and Nursing programme - it is also geared towards competency training with our other partnerships,” Ms Swan explained. “We have purchased this simulation as part of phase 1, and as the health care system defines what other types of health care education initiatives they want, we can use Sim Man and Sim Mom for that as well."

Sim Man can mimic a heart attack, a surgical condition, or any other medical issue that might be of benefit to a student in training, while Sim Mom can re-enact giving birth with simulated contractions, screaming… and even imitation blood.

When asked about the reactions of her students to the life-sized mannequins, Ms. Swan explained, "Oh my goodness, fabulous!  The students have only begun to use them in January, and the range of scenarios that Sim Mom and Sim Man can recreate, is just so vast! It is truly amazing, and we are really blessed to be able to have them."

The Nursing Simulation laboratory will be having their official opening on Monday, February 3rd, at 10:30am, where prospective students can see an actual demonstration of how Sim Mom and Sim Man are used.  It will be an opportunity for Bermuda's potential health care professionals to get to know their very first patients.  

"We still haven't named them," Ms. Swan added, "That will be up to the students."