HMFW Uses Patient Simulator for Staff Education

FORT WORTH, Texas — A speaking, breathing mannequin has arrived at Harris Methodist Fort Worth Hospital (HMFW) and not only does he have audible heart, breath and intestinal sounds, he also has pulses that can be felt/palpated. His official name is SimManÔ, but he’s affectionately known by the hospital’s education staff as Charlie, for the founder of HMFW, the late Dr. Charles Harris.

This human patient simulator, the newest addition to HMFW’s extensive training and education programs, will expose the hospital’s clinical employees to realistic patient scenarios and challenge employees’ clinical and decision-making skills.

"The opportunities to utilize SimMan are limitless," said Phyllis Norman, R.N., M.B.A., vice president of patient care services at HMFW, the first hospital in Fort Worth to acquire SimMan.

SimMan’s unique patented airway allows for intubation and multiple advanced life support skills, including CPR. He can be shocked with defibrillators and he can die, in order for staff to train with accuracy.

With approximately 100 graduate nurses accepted into HMFW’s nursing internships each year, SimMan allows the re-creation and practice of actual patient cases that may take a nurse months to see in bedside practice. This exposure to "real life" patient scenarios allows for nursing intervention in a low risk environment.

An incredible feature about this plastic patient is that he speaks; he can complain about chest pains or anything else the staff programs him to say.

"This is one-of-a-kind technology that we expect to truly enhance the nursing and clinical programs here at Harris," said Mary Robinson, R.N., Ph.D., regional director of clinical education at HMFW and Texas Health Resources.

Thanks to a grant from the Benie Powell Trust Nursing Support Fund, via the Harris Methodist Health Foundation (HMHF), Charlie will soon have a friend joining him at Harris. Ms. Powell, a nurse who passed away in the late ‘60s, designated that funds from her estate be available for the "support, maintenance, education and training" of nurses at Harris Methodist.

"The funds from Ms. Powell’s estate have granted thousands of dollars over the years to support nursing education at HMFW and other Harris Methodist campuses," said Doug White, vice president for the HMHF. "This will be the largest single grant ever made from the fund and we are so pleased that SimMan [to be nicknamed Benie] will be available for training that will benefit nurses from all Harris Methodist Hospitals."

Opened in 1930, HMFW is Tarrant County’s largest and busiest hospital and regional referral center. A member of Texas Health Resources, HMFW is licensed for 610-beds and provides the following services: neurosciences; cardiovascular; orthopedics and sports medicine; rehabilitation; adult critical care and neonatal intensive care; high risk and routine obstetrics and gynecology; trauma and emergency medicine; cancer care; medical/surgical; kidney transplants; occupational health; and more.