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Simulation Inspires Nursing Excellence at Saint Vincent College

Hands-on technology provides real-life sim scenes for student nurses.
Jul 9, 2021

“How are you, Mrs. Hernandez?”

The nurse enters the patient room and encounters an elderly woman laying on a bed, coughing and struggling to breathe. Her vitals are erratic. She moans and wheezes. Swiftly, the nurse lifts Mrs. Hernandez to an upright position and applies oxygen – and the monitor displaying Mrs. Hernandez’s vitals revert to a regular pace.

Ten minutes later, the scene repeats itself, yet this time with a new nurse. She fumbles with the nasal cannula on the first take and succeeds on the second.

Ten minutes later, the scene repeats itself again. Same scenario, new nurse.

At this point, we will reveal to you that Mrs. Hernandez is not comprised of skin and bones but is a manikin – a full body patient simulator. Her wheezes and complaints do not stem from her larynx but from an integrated audio synthesizer controlled by a simulation instructor. The setting is not within a hospital but in the nursing wing of the Dupré Science Pavilion at Saint Vincent College.

Simulation labs are an excellent example of complex multimedia integrations handled by the DES multimedia team. The nursing sim lab at Saint Vincent College is built along four unique data video streams with combined audio that transmit inputs from the simulation room to a control room. An instructor sitting in the control room can watch the action through multiple live camera views; listen to the conversation; participate in the dialogue; control the manikin; adjust patient vitals; and flag footage for further review.

“The key to simulation technology is collecting and displaying the metrics that are critical to the learning experience,” explained Bob Greenhow, DES multimedia systems engineer. “As an example, is hand hygiene critical to nursing care? Of course. That’s why we have a camera view over the washing station streaming the footage through that angle.”

In total, over a dozen metrics are collected from the data streams to the instructor’s customized dashboard. DES installed the capture stations that converge the metadata into specialized simulation software.

Augmenting the simulation lab and the control room, is a technologically-enhanced debriefing room. Here, the instructor shares the simulation footage with the student cohort, and they can analyze where they excelled and how they can improve. An overhead projector and a commercial-grade audio system makes viewing and collaboration easy.

“In today’s scenario, the students had to collect the subjective data – that is the patient’s anecdotal experience – and connect that with the objective data they see on the patient monitor,” observed Carla Tomas, coordinator of the joint Sant Vincent College-Carlow University nursing program. “On my end, it took a couple clicks here and there to make these things happen.”

We are pleased to report that Mrs. Hernandez resolved to adopt a healthier lifestyle and will be discharged from hospital shortly.


The DES Multimedia department is comprised of seasoned audiovisual engineers and programmers who can design. build and install the most complex multimedia solutions. Whether it is designing the audiovisual components for a conference room, engineering the streaming requirements for a crisis command center, calibrating venue sound or unifying digital signage, the DES difference lies in the deep understanding of your project and in the ability to tailor solutions that scale with your needs.

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