The International Nursing Program developed a Virtual Clinical Application Program (VCAP) in accordance to the clinical simulation standards of Alderson-Broaddus College of Philippi, West Virginia. The program is an innovative approach to the acquisition of knowledge and facilitation of learning, providing students with a safe and controlled environment where they can exhibit the required clinical skills and patient care with minimal risks and without compromising the health of a human patient. Instead of actual human patients and the usual dummies, the VCAP uses a cutting edge, high fidelity METI patient simulator categorized as an Emergency Care Simulator (ECS) mannequin that is anatomically accurate with the capability to display various clinical signs. It displays realistic physiologic responses such as respiration, pulses, heart sounds, breath sounds , urinary output and pupil reaction. The human physiology models at the core of the ECS provide appropriate and realistic responses to treatment interventions. It reacts to airway and oxygenation management, fluid administration, defibrillation and drug administration. These reactions are manipulated by the facilitators through the Human Patient Simulation software.
The ECS have interchangeable genitalia so that the mannequin act as a male or female patient. The gender transformation may be enhanced with the aid of a wig, cosmetics and the appropriate clothing. The mannequin can also be dressed up to present as a pregnant female with the appropriate props. It is possible to alter the appearance of the mannequin to represent a wide age range, from young adulthood to geriatric.
The program is conducted at the INP Virtual Simulation Laboratory which is divided into a simulation room and a control room. The simulation room houses the ECS and it is where the students undergo the simulation exercise. Video cameras and audio recording equipment are installed in the simulation room for documentation purposes. An LCD monitor serves as a patient monitor display indicating patient physiologic parameters.
The control room or the panel room is where the facilitators are able to create scenarios through the use of HPS software. An LCD monitor serves as a patient monitor display, with a display of patient physiologic parameters. Microphones are installed in the control room and are connected to audio equipment in the simulation room. The microphones are used by the facilitators to communicate to the students. Thus, the students’ experience of dealing with a patient during the simulation becomes more realistic and multi-dimensional.
Besides the simulation laboratory, the VCAP also uses a conference room where the students observe their cohorts who are simulating through audio-visual equipment that connect the preconference room and the simulation room.
The simulation program is flexible and can be modified to suit the learning objectives and needs of the participating school. The participating school can choose to have their students go through a tour of the laboratory or a half-day, one-day or two-day workshop.
The program allows educators to set multiple learning objectives that lead to a significant enhancement of the learners competence and confidence. Learners are given the chance to have a feel of a critical care set-up and test their reactions to clinical circumstances that are simulated in real time. It is thus a highly-effective preparation for actual clinical practice. The program also accepts local Nursing students of AU and students of other Nursing schools. It is ideal for 3rd year and 4th year students.