EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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April 26, 2008

Manikin family gets great health care at Northern Essex

(Continued)

Kristina Farris, 27, a paramedic student from Methuen, said Sim-Man is lifelike — the computer can make his teeth clench and his air passage constrict, mocking a real-life situation that may occur when a patient is having difficulty breathing.

"It's valuable to know what to do when his airway swells up," she said. "You have to try to intubate, and if that doesn't work, you have to put a needle in his neck."

Farris said the hands-on training is better than a classroom lecture.

"It's not somebody just throwing words at you," she said. "You are actually doing it."

Long-Goding said 152 students will graduate this spring with extensive training with the simulated patients.

The number will grow when the college opens its new medical technology center on Essex Street sometime in the next few years.

In the new facility, Long-Goding hopes to have a mock hospital, complete with an emergency room, exam rooms and a large "staff."

"I'm looking forward to doing interdisciplinary work — simulations that would be more realistic," she said. "Paramedics would bring the manikin to the emergency room, respiratory therapists would be there to assess the patient, radiation technology students would be using portable X-ray machines, and college staff would be there acting as physicians. We can't do that now. We just don't have the room."

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