Ancilla College Opens Health Care Simulation Training to Local Providers

iStanAncilla College is giving local health care workers the chance to sharpen their skills using a robotic patient simulator named iStan.

Simulation Technician Padraig Marshall says iStan is used to give the college’s nursing students their first experience working with patients. “He has all of your major vital signs from blood pressure to heart rate, respiration rate,” he says. “We can adjust his lung sounds. He can talk. He can cry. He can sweat. He can bleed. He can pee. He can do it all.”

He says the system gives students the opportunity to experience some of the scenarios they’ll see after graduation, “It prepares them for that hospital setting because, when you walk into iStan at Ancilla College, it’s just like a hospital room. I mean, we’ve got everything in there that they need in order to do whatever the scenario is that we’ve set up with them. Some of the scenarios we did last semester were, for the OB class, postpartum hemorrhage and things like that. That way, when they go in and they’re starting to assess their patient, they’re whole job is to do a head-to-toe assessment and to recognize the problem that’s going on.”

Now, Marshall says Ancilla College wants to open up these training opportunities to area hospitals, nursing homes, and other health care facilities, “Say they have a nurse that needs a little remediation in something or if they want to do continuing education credits over there at the college, that’s something we’ll be able to provide.”

He says the training opportunities will not only help the college get more involved in the local health care community; they will also help companies save money, “Turnover rate is one of the most expensive things in health care. So instead of them having to move on from certain employees that maybe weren’t getting the hang of something like that, and maybe they can come over. We can go through some things, set up some scenarios with iStan for them to use and for them to help rebuild their skills and refresh those things and give them back the confidence that maybe they’ve lost along the way.”

Local health care providers interested in the training can get more information by contacting Ancilla’s Nursing Department at 574-936-8898 ext. 327 or be e-mailing Marshall at