SAN JUAN – Pharr-San Juan-Alamo ISD Health Science teachers learned how to work with a patient simulator mannequin, called the SimMan 3G, during a staff training at Yzaguirre Middle School on June 2. This newly acquired technology was purchased to help students interested in the health care profession experience hands-on realistic situations with patients.

The teachers were shown how the system is set up, including a computer screen dubbed to be an ECG monitor, showing the “patients” heartbeat and other vitals. They were also shown different procedures that can be done on the mannequin, such as drawing blood or checking their eyes for strange instances of dilation. The mannequin can perform many different functions, such as sweating, bleeding and urination.

“It will serve as an excellent training guide to students, as they will be tested on figuring out the patient’s symptoms and how to treat them correctly,” said Jeff Mattingly, regional sales manager at Laerdal Medical.

PSJA Health Science teachers showed much excitement for the new addition to their curriculum. Not only did the SimMan 3G come with a physical mannequin, it also has a program allowing teachers a trial run through different situations on the computer. There is also a test for the students prior to the actual simulation scenario, just to make sure they understand the concepts being taught.

The software used for the SimMan 3G is state of the art, and is always kept updated with the American Heart Associations guidelines. If they ever change so will the simulation. Currently there is an adult male, adult female and a baby mannequin available for use.

The PSJA Career and Technology Education Department (CTE) staff had heard of the advantage students have after learning health science concepts using this technology. PSJA partnered with South Texas College and The Doctors Hospital at Renaissance to make this opportunity possible for PSJA students, according to Javier Saenz the program director. Many of the supplies that will be used in the classrooms, such as the beds, gauzes and stethoscopes, were donated to PSJA.

The CTE Dept. took years to fund the $128,000 project, but it was well worth the wait. Saenz says the SimMan 3G is not just for students aspiring to go into the health science field. They are hoping to incorporate all types of sciences with this product and share it with PSJA students from all grade levels.

“Some students will have the opportunity to gain internships with partnered hospitals. It’s never too early to expose children to these opportunities and help them excel,” he said.

Oscar Lopez, a Health Science teacher at PSJA Memorial Early College High School, says that the mannequin will make an impression on students, as there is a substantial difference between hands on situations and computer-simulated situations. He agrees the students will remember much more from treating a patient than watching a video of others treat a patient.

PSJA teachers are very excited to begin using the SimMan 3G this upcoming Fall, as they are sure it will impact students wanting a career in the medical field.

The CTE Dept. will also host a 2-week summer camp from June 8 – June 18, for PSJA middle and high school students to get familiar with the SimMan 3G and the dissector table.