March 28, 2011

School of Nursing lab admits Harvey the Cardiac Simulator

It’s official: Harvey the Cardiopulmonary Simulator has checked in for an extended stay at the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing.

Harvey is the latest addition to the school’s upgraded simulation laboratories and the newest member of the “Sim Fam.” These lifelike practice manikins, including Sim Man, Vital Sim Man, Noelle with newborn, Vital Sim Child and Sim Baby, give nursing students hands-on experience without the anxiety of working with actual human beings.

For almost 40 years, Harvey, developed in cooperation between Laerdal Medical Corp. and Miami University Miller School of Medicine, has been a proven simulation system teaching bedside cardiac assessment skills that transfer to real patients, and remains the longest continuous university-based simulation project in medical education.

“The addition of Harvey adds the next level in simulation education,” said Dianne Aschenbrenner, faculty coordinator for the simulation and nursing practice laboratories at the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing. “Now our undergraduate and graduate nurse practitioner students can assess a wide range of cardiac conditions, from the simplistic to the complex.”

Harvey realistically simulates nearly any cardiac disease at the touch of a button, with varying blood pressure, pulses, heart sounds and murmurs. The software installed in the simulator allows users to track history, bedside findings, lab data, and medical and surgical treatment.

Sim Man and Vital Sim Man were the first “patients” to join the school, in 2004, with a Vital Sim Child added in 2005 and an additional Sim Man arriving in 2008. Sim Man, Vital Sim Man and Vital Sim Child can be used to assess blood pressure and radial, carotid and femoral pulse readings, as well as basic heart, respiratory and abdominal sounds. Sim Man also has more-advanced features that allow his use in role-playing scenarios; speakers, for example, allow the “patient” to “talk” to students. He can also be given CPR, defibrillated and intubated in emergency situations. Sim Baby, introduced to the school in 2005, performs many of the same functions as Sim Man. Noelle with newborn is a “pregnant” manikin received in 2006 and is used to practice Leopold maneuvers, normal vaginal and instrumented delivery, breech delivery, C-section and postpartum hemorrhaging, among other functions.