Hill College


Astonishing Birthing Simulator: A First-in-Texas for Hill College


                  The first students to use Victoria; Left to right: Leah Felan, Kari Goen, Instructor Dale Bordner, Instructor Janis Grimland, Constance Calvin.

The fact that she can give birth to three babies before noon is not even the most amazing thing about “Victoria,” the newest member of the Hill College Nursing Department. She can push those babies out without batting an eye. Well, actually, she does bat her eyes. Her pupils also dilate, her breathing and heart rate accelerate, and she verbalizes what she is feeling. She can even simulate a seizure.

            Victoria is a medical simulation mannequin. Or, more specifically, she is the latest addition to Gaumard Scientific’s maternal and neonatal care simulators. With a price tag around $70,000, she is the latest and greatest in the field today. And thanks to the Wallace Foundation, Hill College has the first one in Texas, and one of only a few in the entire United States.

“Hill College is appreciative to the Foundation for the funds to purchase a high tech, state-of-the art birthing simulator,” said Dr. Pamela Boehm, president of Hill College. "Victoria enhances classroom lecture with real world application in a skills lab setting. Hill College is excited to provide nursing education to its service area and to do so leading the state with Victoria."

            The Victoria system includes comprehensive clinical birthing scenarios including complicated births. Victoria’s innovative features mimic real human physiology, allowing the use of real medical equipment for monitoring, and responding to intravenous medication administration. It is realism students can feel with their own hands. These bring the lab to life for students allowing them to experience situations in a controlled setting before facing them in a real life situation. With articulating endoskeletons and lifelike skin, Victoria is a realistic, fully wireless maternal/fetal simulator for use in actual health care training.

“I am excited and grateful to have been provided this birthing simulator for the skills/simulation lab at Hill College,” said Paula Hutchings, RN, MSN, Hill College skills/simulation lab coordinator. “Victoria will provide students with opportunities that sometimes they do not have in the clinical setting.”  

The newborn’s features and lifelike appearance also allow for a more realistic childbirth simulation. The newborn can present signs of distress such as cyanosis, low heart rate and labored breathing. As the newborn’s health improves, care providers can listen for a normal heart rate, lung sounds, crying, and see active movement.

The technology includes a tablet, which allows control of Victoria by the bedside, from a control center, or anywhere else up to 300 feet away. The user interface includes a labor and delivery control screen, patient and fetal monitor, an active 3-D patient animation, a scenario editor and player, a laboratory report generator, an activity log and more. The labor and delivery control screen is an intuitive user interface with options and controls to manage or program the labor and delivery process, including a comprehensive library of more than 30 preprogrammed labor and delivery scenarios. For more information about the Hill College nursing program, visit www.hillcollege.edu/nursing.