JEFFERSON COUNTY, Ohio (WTRF)– One local college is making sure their nursing students have as much practice and experience as possible.   

When studying to work with human patients, it can be difficult to simulate the real thing but now advancements in technology have made it possible. 

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They move, blink, and even have a heartbeat. 

These mannequins are sure to make you do a double take.  

The Franciscan University Nursing Department welcomed some new friends to the team.  

The department threw a baby shower to celebrate the arrival of their “Sim Babies.” 

They are high-tech infant mannequins that are the latest tool to prepare you for the field.  

Associate Professor Catherine Recznik says this helps take the pressure off students. It allows them to make mistakes and learn from them.  

We received a grant from the Mary Jane Brooks Foundation, which we were really excited for. We were able to purchase simulation equipment for our students and in particular a couple of our bigger items were these simulation baby mannequins.

So, this is a baby mannequin from Lerdahl called “Sim Baby.” It represents a 9-month-old and has a lot of like high-fidelity features. So, if you look at the babies actually moving, it can demonstrate that it’s awake and participating in things.

The baby actually has a visible chest rise. You can listen to lung sounds in the front and the back. You can feel pulses. The baby actually has pupillary constriction if you sign a shine a light into it. So, these really enable us to be able to teach our students using the highest quality equipment that there is.

Catherine Recznik, Associate professor of nursing, Franciscan University

“The more realistic the better,” said one student.

Several students explained to 7News why this is a critical resource to have.

7News reporter Ashley Kaiser even got the chance to listen to one “Sim Baby’s” heartbeat and breathing. 

7News reporter Ashley Kaiser learning about the new “Sim Babies.”

The scary thing about nursing is that the first time you do something on a real person, it matters. So, the wonderful thing about having a lab and having mannequins is that the first time you’re doing something, you actually have a backup where you can take your time and you can really explore how you develop your practice and so then when you’re with a patient, it’s like, oh, I’ve done this before. It’s already muscle memory and it just takes a lot of the pressure off of performing really well the first time.

Magdalena Tamiian, Senior nursing student, Franciscan University

She says her younger classmates will definitely benefit from this addition to their variety of medical dolls and wishes they got them sooner.

Now more than ever nursing students can go into their first job feeling confident and prepared.