Health training at Meridian Technology Center just got a little more realistic thanks to Jaden, the newest patient admitted into the school’s simulation lab.
Jaden is a SynDaver Anatomy manikin that features lifelike bones, joints, muscles, organs and tendons that exist in human anatomy. SynDaver tissues mimic the physical, chemical, and mechanical properties of live tissue.
“This is an ideal alternative to human cadavers because it allows students to become familiar with the look and feel of a live human body without specialized facilities or risk of exposure to chemicals and biohazards,” said Michelle Mills, a Health Careers instructor who helped write a grant to bring the new technology to Tech. “The technology will completely change the way our students learn about the human body. It’s one thing to learn about something; it’s another thing to see it in this format.”
The synthetic cadaver will also provide the opportunity for students to visualize healthy anatomy, which is not the case when using human cadavers. Knowledge of what healthy tissues look and feel like will assist them in recognizing diseased tissues.
“Most anatomy courses within the Oklahoma CareerTech system have adopted a method of teaching anatomy by having students recreate scale models with clay,” explained Dustin Hicks, Practical Nursing Instructor/Simulation Specialist at Meridian. “While useful in teaching basic anatomy, it rarely results in creating the realistic, detailed versions of organs and body systems needed to prepare health care professionals for practice.”
In addition to the SynDaver manikin, Meridian also used the grant to purchase BodyViz anatomy software to further enhance simulation training. BodyViz is a 3D visualization tool that creates interactive 3D MRI and CT scans. With this tool, students will have to access a library of 3D normal and abnormal anatomical structures as well as disease conditions built from actual patient scans.
Simulation at Tech
Simulation manikins are a vital component of Meridian’s health training programs. Meridian opened a simulation lab in 2009 as part of an expansion of its health training wing. The lab opened with four hospital rooms that were equipped with two adult SimMan 3G manikins, one birthing manikin and one infant. In an adjoining room is a control center where instructors can manage and monitor student performance.
In 2015, Hicks won an adult airway manikin through an online contest sponsored by SynDaver Labs. The addition of this manikin enabled students to master intubation using a manikin with more realistic tissues and anatomy than traditional simulated learning devices.
Simulation training options are also embedded into Meridian’s Welding, Precision Metal Fabrication and Collision Repair programs. Students in these programs have a chance to test their skills using 3D virtual reality tools.
Meridian’s Business and Industry Services division frequently provides customized training for clients using the school’s simulation equipment. Examples have included using the virtual welder to assess skill level for Ditch Witch employees, a driving simulator for employees of the city of Stillwater, and a heavy equipment simulator used by a variety of oil and gas companies. The Stillwater Fire Department and Stillwater Medical Center regularly use the SimMan3G manikins for skills demonstrations and training. A new addition in safety training is a forklift simulator.