‘Virtual hospital’ opens at Fox Valley Technical College

October 7, 2013

From fox11online.com: ” ‘Virtual hospital’ opens at Fox Valley Technical College” — GRAND CHUTE – In a mock emergency, paramedic, EMT and nursing students work together at Fox Valley Technical College to treat Mary Roberts’ possible heart attack. Roberts is a human simulator at the Grand Chute college.

The mock emergency took place Wednesday in FVTC’s $12 million Health Simulation and Technology Center. The virtual hospital also features occupational therapy and a clinic.

“We can do a lot more with our students, we can expose them to a lot of different situations that they might not have been able to see in the past,” FVTC simulator coordinator Bob Sternhagen said.

“It’s extremely life-like,” nursing student Daisie Hanson said. “It’s got pulses in all the places that a human being has pulses. You can listen to the heart, you can listen to the lungs, you can listen to their stomach.”

The virtual hospital is geared toward more than just students at the college. Other health care professionals may use the facility as well.

“It is a re-certification process. For others, it’s just the world of health care is changing so rapidly, so what we thought we knew a couple of years ago, well there’s new information, new research,” said Sharon Schumacher, director of talent development at Appleton-based ThedaCare health system.

The emergency may be an exercise, but the training is very real.

“You can kill the simulator as many times as you want and it comes back,” Hanson said. “And then you know what not to do on a real patient.”

“It helps prepare not only those students to have more competence, so that when they actually come into the clinical setting, they’re much more prepared,” Schumacher said.

And in this virtual case, Mary Roberts is going to make it.

The simulator center is part of a $66.5 million referendum voters passed in the spring of last year.

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