Robo Patient

Monday, June 13, 2011 - 3:17pm

Illinois medical students learn how to save lives with a near-lifelike patient.

At one school in Chicago, the students are learning how to save a life, a life that someday might be yours. It's a second baby for Gail and things are going great.

It's as close to real life as possible: except nothing bad can really happen to this mom, a mannequin so high tech it gives birth to a mannequin baby.

At her side, students from the Chamberlain Nursing School in suburban Chicago.

And from behind a one way mirror, nursing instructors give voice to the feelings and thoughts that a patient might actually have so the student nurses never know what's coming next.

Lab Supervisor Janet Hewlett says "they'll talk back to you, they'll bleed, they breathe, and you can program extensive scenarios on them."

School Dean Jan Snow says it prepares the students in a way no classroom can.

College Dean Jan Snow says "to have them be able to practice in an almost real situation really helps bridge the gap.So when these students get into a real situation, they're likely to make less mistakes."

Back to labor and delivery, and nursing instructor Monica Stone creates an emergency minutes after birth. In less than sixty seconds, students call the doctor, confirm that gail has had a postpartum hemorrhage and begin medication and an IV.

Later, instructors point out that the bleeding could have been discovered earlier and straighten out some confusion about how to administer the meds. But on team work, the group gets high marks.

2nd Year Student Jeremy Keske says "I think we did pretty well, yes yes we worked well together. Absolutely."

3rd Year Student Irina Chiritoiu says "this is something very new to all of us. so that's why it's the most fun and most challenging."

There are pediatric and other adult mannequins to simulate other medical problems. They can cost up to $80,000, a cost the school says is well worth it.

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