Virtual reality, of sorts, for training doctors and nurses

  1. The days of new doctors practicing on real patients may be numbered.

    More and more doctors are training on patient simulators that are a far cry from the floppy beige dolls used for decades to teach paramedics resuscitation procedures.

    Some mannequins now have a pulse, veins that can be injected, moving eyes, interchangeable genital organs and a heart and lungs whose audible beating and breathing change with the condition of the "patient."

    The most high-tech mannequins have dozens of parameters that can be programmed to simulate both common and rare medical crises _ and what happens as a doctor in training tries to "save" a patient by administering drugs, hooking up a breathing machine, even shocking a failing heart with a defibrillator.

    The technology is barely 10 years old, and already simulators are widely used for training U.S. military medics and nurses and medical technicians at many community colleges. At least half of the nation's 120 medical schools already use simulators to teach students and residents, or graduates completing training at hospitals.

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    About Brian, ADN

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