High-Fidelity “Patients” Help Cardio Students

Talk about hands-on learning. A group of 76 second-year ND students in last term’s Cardiology and Pulmonary class got to experience realistic cardiac patients, thanks to a visit to OHSU simulation center. The class is the first to go through NUNM’s revised block curriculum, and the first to visit the OHSU sim lab. While the “patients” are made of rubber, plastic and metal, working with them is strangely close to the real thing. The “high-fidelity” mannequins speak, breathe, and mimic other human functions: their eyes respond to light, they have a pulse and make heart and lung sounds. In short, they do just about everything but complain about the bill.

And, said student Katie Pickworth, working with them in a simulated emergency situation is no less tense. Students, she said, paired off to work on the mannequin, and were tasked with managing the patient appropriately, including a brief intake, ordering labs and imagery, and knowing when to call emergency services. “The emergency setting made us all nervous, but everyone did really well,” she said, adding, “As a previous clinical researcher, I appreciated this course’s emphasis on leading research about cardiology, which pushed us to consider how we can use that information to optimize a naturopathic practice in the future.”