English as a Second Language Students Visit Sim Lab

05/24/2016

Blog post by SImGHOSTS board member Kim Baily

I opened up the sim lab to our vocational ESL students and received this touching letter:

What is the meaning of “sim lab”? What does the Health Sciences sim lab look like? What is the job of a sim lab, especially the PCC Health Sciences sim lab? I had no idea about these questions until an extraordinary visit on March 29, 2016.

When I entered the debriefing room where people could view the sim lab from behind mirrored glass, I was shocked. It was amazing and full of mysteries. Through the mirrored glass, the sim lab looked strikingly similar to a hospital room with patients lying on the beds. What was happening inside?

Doctor Kim Baily, who helped to organize the Health Sciences sim lab at the Community Education Center, warmly welcomed us. I heard some stories and great comments on Doctor Kim Baily before the visit. She has been in nursing education for over 20 years; she joined PCC only a few short yeas ago; she is the simulation and skills lab coordinator now; almost all the students she taught think she is an excellent professor. To my surprise, Kim Baily was a pretty petite woman, and she was kind and outgoing when I saw her at the first sight. She was just like a gentle nurse in a hospital room.

Before our observation, Doctor Kim Baily introduced the sim lab, which included a $150,000 remodel and three new state-of-the-art simulation mannequins. It was designed to train nursing students by practicing working with patients in different scenarios. Everything here was highly similar to a hospital room, so all the equipment, including mannequins, were very expensive.

Yes, it was true! When I came into the sim lab, it was a realistic atmosphere here. Three beds were in the room. A pregnant woman was on the left bed, two newborns were in the middle cribs, and an excessively bleeding young man was lying on the right bed. Of course, all of these people were mannequins, but they looked extremely vivid. Kim Baily walked directly to the young man. She held the man’s hand and called his name soulfully. “He is my boyfriend,” Kim Baily told us. She checked her boyfriend carefully, and then instructed us to touch the man’s skin. How strange was the feeling of touching! The skin was soft and warm. It was like a real person. Suddenly, the man on the bed made a sound, “Who are you? Are you a doctor or a nurse?” Actually, I was a little scared by the sound at that moment. I didn’t expect a mannequin to be quite so lifelike.

The next experience was also unexpected. Doctor Kim Baily led us to the pregnant woman. She showed us how to deliver a baby step by step. Kim Baily was standing at the foot of the bed, counting to 10, and telling the mom when to push. Meanwhile, she explained there would be lots of different situations during delivering a baby, and diverse ways to solve them. Monitors beside the mom displayed her vital signs, such as blood pressure, pulse and respiration, which gave an indication of patient’s health status. At last, a baby boy was coming successfully. We all applauded and cheered as if a newborn was really coming into the world.

All of the details in the Health Sciences sim lab were unbelievable. I saw many things I had never seen before, and gradually realized the importance of the sim lab. To simulate is to make believe. To practice in a make-believe world is a safe way to learn.

During the wonderful visit, Doctor Kim Baily also taught us how to help choking people expel objects. It’s vey helpful in daily life. I really appreciate the opportunity to visit the sim lab, and feel grateful to Doctor Kim Baily. She is such a perfect professor, teaching us lots of health care skills, and the attitude to patients when you act as health care workers. Patients are our boy friends or girl friends, our relatives, and our kids.