New technology makes simulation look like reality

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    The final phase of the Annie Richardson Bass Building will have new high-tech simulations to give nursing students the feeling they are working in the emergency room.

    “We have a birthing mannequin that actually delivers a baby and you can make it deliver the baby in different positions,” said Dr. Pamela Frable, associate dean of facilities for the Harris College of Nursing and Health Sciences. “Other mannequins will respond if you give them the wrong gas and create a respiratory problem just like a human being.”

    These simulations, known as high-fidelity simulations, can refer to a human who is trained to act like a certain patient or a mannequin that physiologically responds. The simulations provide the highest level of hospital realism for students by reacting to the student’s every move, Frable said.

    Frable said the simulations will be housed on the second floor of the original Bass building. The floor will be designed with individual hospital rooms and will house eight different urgent care facilities including medical and surgical, labor and delivery and pediatrics and intensive care. Four additional rooms will house clinics for simulated health check-ups and a residential suite for students to practice visiting patients at home.

    Patrick Mucker, project manager for facility planning and construction, said the updates will add more space and technology for nursing students to use.

    “The old building didn’t have the individual simulation rooms. We had more of the larger group rooms with outdated equipment,” Mucker said.

    The newly improved hospital environment is part of an $11 million renovation within the shell of the original Bass building and should be completed in time for the spring semester, Mucker said.

    Jimmie Borum, director of the Harris College Health Professions Learning Center, said the renovated facility will have 12,000 square feet of extra space when compared to the old building.

    Senior nursing major Taylor Hart said she is excited for the improvements coming to the Bass Building and for the freshmen who will be coming to TCU to pursue a nursing degree.

    “The freshmen get to start in the new building from the get-go and will never have to experience the old building,” Hart said. “The nursing program is a very strong program and it’s nice that the facilities will finally be able to reflect that.”