Danville Nursing Students Use Birthing Mannequin

Danville, VA - Nursing students at Danville Community College are getting a hands on lesson on how to deliver babies by using a birthing simulator that mimics childbirth.

Aside from instruction, they used to have to rely on videos of childbirth and seeing a baby being born during their rotation. But you can't depend on a mother going into labor, so sometimes they wouldn't even get that training.

The $16,000 mannequin, named Noelle, teaches students everything from communication skills to what to do during an emergency.

"They can get the full concept of labor, delivery, and then what happens with the infant," said Tammy McKinney, program head for nursing program. "I think it helps them with the patient care aspect. They start here and we go through the process and once they get to the hospital they are more comfortable with the labor patient."

McKinney worked for years as a labor and delivery nurse before coming to DCC and says Noelle functions much like a real patient.

"It's the best that we have to offer students and it's pretty realistic," said McKinney.

"The technology is just above and beyond. We just really appreciate the investment made," said Shannon Hair, executive director of DCC educational foundation.

DCC received Noelle at the beginning of the school year. This semester, more students are involved. McKinney says the hope is to eventually train all nursing students on this piece of equipment, making everyone, not just the students, more confident during delivery.

"These students are graduating and they are going to DRMC and getting jobs so those are the students working on us. And I believe they are getting a fantastic education," said Hair.

DCC paid for Noelle using a grant from the Community Foundation. The money they gave also helped pay to upgrade some of their labs relating to delivery.