Noel is a good gift for CTC nursing students

A sophisticated simulator called Noel is giving nursing students at the CCCTC a chance to learn what happens during labor, delivery and postpartum. One of the nursing instructors Carolyn McCune (center) demonstrated what the Noel can do when board members, including Garry Peruchetti (left) and Mike Ellyson (right) visited the lab. (Photo by Deanne Johnson)

LISBON — With fewer local hospitals offering OB-GYN services, it has become more difficult to give students the clinical experience they need to feel comfortable being a nurse in that environment.

So the Columbiana County Career and Technical Center has brought in Noel, a simulator the students can monitor through the labor and delivery experience.

Utilizing a computer program, Jacki Fieldhouse, one of the instructors of the nursing program said she can create scenarios both for Noel and the sophisticated baby she gives birth to, giving students a chance to react to varying situations.

For instance, the baby may be under respiratory distress when it is being monitored in the incubator and if students do not react soon enough to the signs on the monitor, the baby mannequin will actually turn blue.

The mannequins can tell when the pressure students are using to give CPR is correct or if it requires adjustments.

Board members questioned how long a scenario can last with Fieldhouse and Carolyn McCune explaining if students fail to act, the baby could die. Noel could have internal bleeding following birth and students need to know what to do.

While one board member said you would like to think a doctor would arrive before things would get too bad, the nursing instructors pointed out you never know when the doctor will be tied up with another situation. McCune said the students should know what to expect and be able to anticipate the doctor’s possible steps once the doctor does arrive.

After working on a scenario, a group of students can go into another room with the instructor to be debriefed on what happened, how it was handled and if there were other possible actions to take.

Adult Education Director Dr. Kelly Darney said the mannequins have an extended 15-year warranty and thanked the CCCTC board for approving the purchase.