Baby Hal, a Simulator, ‘Born’ into Ohio U. Zanesville’s Nursing Program

Local News

ZANESVILLE, Ohio — “We can computer-generate, simulate scenarios for them.”

At Ohio University Zanesville, Teresa Polen is the Asst. Director of Nursing. She demonstrates a baby mannequin. But not just any type of mannequin, one with moving parts, malleable skin and one that simulates a crying, fussy baby.

“Baby Hal here will cry. Scenarios are in place. He will have a fully-functioning umbilical cord which does have arteries, veins, you can obtain blood. You can see those kinds of things that are normal scenarios that someone is going to see with a brand new baby,” Polen says.

Hal is a newborn baby, umbilical cord still attached & clamped. The simulated baby allows nursing students to check pulses, check skin color & condition, lung condition, check vital signs & perform evaluations.

She tells WHIZ News the baby mannequin, and its mother, are designed to mimic actual human movements and help as teaching tools for her nursing students.

“We are controlling those scenarios and as students come in and progress through those scenarios, we may be changing that and upping it a little bit for them,” Polen says.

Polen describes their nursing lab as ‘high-fidelity’ because the mannequins can simulate high-functioning anatomy, umbilical cords, lungs experiencing respiratory distress and other medical maladies.

“It’s part of a section of what they’re going to learn,” she says. “They’re immediately going to step in to that. They’ll learn that hands-on, being able to see it & do it, they’ll be able to get right in on during those programs.”

Polen says nobody wants to see a baby crash moments after birth, but with Hal, training nurses know what to look for if a scary moment happens in the delivery room.