Simulation Settings and Specialties

Professor Henao
Birthing Simulator
by Henry Henao - Friday, June 13, 2008, 9:36 AM

Hi All.

I have just made the first step into Obstetrical simulation by purchasing the simulator.

I found a refurbished birthing bed, bought a video recording system.

I need to get all the peripheral equipment (including a baby warmer)

Can you post your top 5 things that I should acquire beyond that.

Vendor reccommendations would also be helpful if that is allowed by the fourm.


Henry Henao

Director, Nursing Resource Center

Barry University

Picture of Jodi Nelson
Re: Birthing Simulator
by Jodi Nelson - Friday, June 13, 2008, 4:00 PM

Congratulations on your first steps!

I work with the simulators at BryanLGH College of Health Sciences in Lincoln, NE. While we don't have an obstetrical simulator, I have ran some OB scenarios for our family and high risk OB courses. The things that come to mind are a contraction and fetal heart tone monitor, clothing for the patient to wear (a couple of our scenarios have patients coming in with contractions or complications and the students must admit them), and a variety of pads for the bed and peri pads that can be saturated with blood products. For one of our scenarios, we have put the blood product on the clothes the patient wears. Faculty will switch out the pads between states in the scenarios or show them to the students saying, "this is what you find under the patient now." We also have props like a box of cigarettes, glasses, jewelery, etc., anything that can make it more real. The bags of blood that can be purchased for blood transfusions are also appreciated by the students-it's a vital skill the students need the knowledge of but don't get too often in the clinical area. I would also recommend an IV pump and tubing.

Hope this helps! I recall feeling very overwhelmed at first with all I wanted to get in place. Take it a step at a time and realize it's a project that's always in process. I like your idea of soliciting for the top 5 items to get next. Good luck!

Jodi Nelson, MSN RN

BryanLGH College of Health Sciences

Picture of Mary Cato
Re: Birthing Simulator
by Mary Cato - Sunday, June 15, 2008, 11:18 PM

Sounds like you are off and running!  As you consider what else you need to purchase, I would encourage you to think of ways to stretch your budget.  For instance, your baby warmer does not need to actually warm up, you might be able to find a surplus warmer from your local NICU or pediatric facility.  If you are doing realistic scenarios, you might want to find a microphone to put near your patient's head so that you can have someone communicate with your participants by being the patient's voice.  And, of course, faculty development is your most important investment.  Supporting a team of faculty members by providing training in simulation will help you and your students get the most benefit from the use of simulation as a learning activity.  Have a great journey!

Mary Cato

Professor Henao
Re: Birthing Simulator
by Henry Henao - Tuesday, June 17, 2008, 10:25 PM

Thanks for your advice.

I have been in touch with a local hospital for a warmer. I"ll keep my fingers crossed.

I agree faculty development is key.


Picture of Carol-Ann Devine
Re: Birthing Simulator
by Carol-Ann Devine - Tuesday, November 4, 2008, 12:09 PM

It is better is your warmer doesn't work!! the skin of our manikins is fragile and doesn't do well with the heat setting.

Picture of Darlene Rogers
Re: Birthing Simulator
by Darlene Rogers - Thursday, June 19, 2008, 1:57 PM

We have run a couple of OB scenarios at Southern Connecticut State University.  (PIH and PP hemm.)  We make our own blood bags with saline bags and red food coloring/ blood concentrate.  We make a label similiar to what students would see on the floor and tape it to the bag.  It works pretty well, and is cost effective.

We also put protein powder in our "urine" (water and yellow coloring) for a positve protein urine dip for the PIH scenario.  Good luck!

Picture of durcilla williams
Re: Birthing Simulator
by durcilla williams - Friday, June 27, 2008, 5:54 PM

We too are just begining our simulation lab and have just bought our first Novell Birthing Simulation model.   I still need to find or locate bassinetts but for now we use laundry baskets on the bed as the infants bed during newborn simulations. We too are looking for donations of nursery items but are running with what we have for now.

Thanks for the good ideas especially the protein powder in the urine for a positive protein urine dip tests.  Other ideas that a faculty member passed on to me at the end of the semester was to make thick jello molds and use the jello as blood clots in the red dyed saline as passing blood and blood clots.  She suggested using the chux or even sanitary pads to hold the fake blood clots and fake blood between the models legs when running the smiluation.   I can not wait to get back into class this fall with all the new ideas that were collected over the summer online and from other faculty.

Durcilla Williams, MSN, RN

Odessa College

Picture of Edward Rovera
Re: Birthing Simulator
by Edward Rovera - Tuesday, July 1, 2008, 5:28 PM

I can tell you what I’m gathering up or putting in the budget for our simulation facility:


  1. Complete medical gas rail in the mid-fidelity facility. I have it already in my hi-fi area.  (“Oxygen” in mid-fidelity is really compressed air.)
  2. Storage area and bins to house all the scenario-specific equipment, medications, moulage, etc.
  3. Small refrigerator in my moulage room to keep foodstuffs that will be used in scenarios.  Foods like cottage cheese, cold coffee, canned beets, etc. can be used to make very realistic body fluids and waste products.
  4. Extra IV sets for my mannequins.  I have found that they tend to leak after a while and need to be replaced regularly.
  5. A medication dispensing system, i.e., a fake Pyxis.

So far, I have the first three and am working on the other two.  Mind you, my list is longer than just what is above, but you asked for only the Top Five. smile

Ed Rovera
SFSU School of Nursing
Office: 1-415-338-3637

Picture of durcilla williams
Re: Birthing Simulator
by durcilla williams - Tuesday, July 15, 2008, 5:41 AM


We have an older building and adding oxygen system was too costly plus the building electrical system was full.  Our plan has been to put into the next budget the addition of HEAD WALLS that are functioning self contained units that I seen at the 7th National Skills Lab Conference in San Antonio last summer.

 I met the company representative Paul Schwab of the company that builds self contained head walls. I had to do some looking but found the buisness card and asked for a price qoute. We are hoping to add 3 self contained units to our new lab for actual working suction.
The head walls have the capability of working suction units simply by plugging in the contained unit into an electrical outlet.  The wall units have suction and oxygen ports with an overbed light.
Here is the website that you can view all the products
here is the website that describes the self contained head wall unit
This might be an option for those older nursing labs that can not support adding air piping or oxygen pipes throughout the building.
Durcilla Williams, MSN, RN
Nursing Lab Instructor
Odessa College
Picture of Andrea Ackermann
Re: Birthing Simulator
by Andrea Ackermann - Thursday, July 10, 2008, 5:06 PM
We have been using our Noelle for simulations for four years at Mount Saint Mary College in Newburgh, NY. So far I have gained some new ideas from those replying to your post. This is great!

One other suggestion is to fill a chux with fake blood and clots (I use strawberry jam with the big pieces of strawberries in it for clots). During this simulation we incorporate the discussion of how to determine the amount of estimated blood loss. We discuss weighing the chux or pads or how to estimate from the saturation of the chux or pads. We also discuss what actions to take if this saturated chux is pre or post birth and what are the nursing interventions; what could be the causes; and what might be the signs and symptoms related to different amounts of blood loss.

We have a patient's chart with history, labs, physician's orders, MAR, etc. We still use paper charts since we don't have a computer charting system...yet. But that is another discussion.

We have the students bring their own stethoscopes so they can count the fetal heart rate. The students find it is difficult to count a pulse that is rapid and with Noelle I can change the rate during their counting to give them practice with this difficult skill. We then discuss the indications of different fetal heart rates.

I hope these suggestions help. Good luck with your simulations. I am sure your students will appreciate it as much as ours.


Andrea D. Ackermann PhD, RN
Associate Professor of Nursing
Director of Simulation and Clinical Learning
Picture of Michelle Lewis
Re: Birthing Simulator
by Michelle Lewis - Tuesday, November 24, 2009, 1:35 PM

Does anyone have any ideas for OB simulation scenarios that last 10-20 minutes?

Michelle Lewis

Lee College

Picture of vickie valenziano
Re: Birthing Simulator
by vickie valenziano - Tuesday, November 24, 2009, 8:58 PM
Post-partum hemorrhage is a fun one. Lots of assessment skills and lots of moulage. Assessment and teaching focused scenarios for patients with pre-term labor, or delivering twins. The patient asks many questions which the student needs to answer. Post-op C/S ileus can also easily be done. Hope these help.

Vickie Vaelnziano
Cuesta College
Picture of Marjorie Scheikl
Re: Birthing Simulator
by Marjorie Scheikl - Wednesday, November 25, 2009, 7:12 AM

If you are using a pregnant mom in labor, you could go the fetal distress route to see that students can recognize fetal distress and do the cardinal first moves: position change, IV open if needed, oxygen , call MD if lates etc...

Or.... you could do a post partum scenario with excess bleeding and a boggy fundus.

Think of all the variety of situations that occur in the hospital on the unit and skies the limit!
Picture of Marjorie Scheikl
Re: Birthing Simulator
by Marjorie Scheikl - Wednesday, November 25, 2009, 7:15 AM

Our faculty has been looking into possibilities for computer charting in the labs and have looked at Nurse Squared and Neehr Perfect software programs. Has your faculty evaluated any possible sources and if so, what is your take on it? We seem to like both of the above but have heard some mixed reviews about Nurse Squared from others.

Any suggestions?

Picture of Captain Silvertooth
Re: Birthing Simulator
by Captain Silvertooth - Wednesday, November 25, 2009, 11:30 AM
As far as fluids go, I've found that children's washable finger paint works really well. It cleans off of the manikins nicely, has no sugar (which is important), and you can dilute it to varying levels of consistency (for clots and stuff).
Picture of Edward Rovera
Re: Birthing Simulator
by Edward Rovera - Tuesday, February 2, 2010, 5:41 PM

Did you ever get an answer to your question regarding Nurse Squared vs Neehr Perfect?

Thank you.

Ed Rovera

Picture of Mary Anne Rizzolo
Re: Birthing Simulator
by Mary Anne Rizzolo - Wednesday, February 3, 2010, 11:18 AM
Just an FYI -- NurseSquared was recently bought by Elsevier.
Picture of Marjorie Scheikl
Re: Birthing Simulator
by Marjorie Scheikl - Wednesday, February 3, 2010, 3:46 PM
Hmmm.. good to know. Are you all using this?
Picture of Marjorie Scheikl
Re: Birthing Simulator
by Marjorie Scheikl - Wednesday, February 3, 2010, 3:47 PM
No we did not. We have done our own research in both of these options.
Picture of Edward Rovera
Re: Birthing Simulator
by Edward Rovera - Wednesday, February 3, 2010, 8:51 PM
So did you decide on one or the other, or did you roll your own?

Ed Rovera

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Re: Birthing Simulator
by Debra Franklin - Wednesday, April 28, 2010, 11:57 PM

Hello Ed,

This reply is several months later than your question, but we just purchased Nurse Squared for its ability to allow us to incorporate an EMR into simulation. We will begin using it this Fall. I liked most of what I saw at the demo by Elsevier reps, so hope the product is as good in real life.

Deb Franklin

Picture of Linda shubert
by Linda shubert - Thursday, April 29, 2010, 4:38 AM
will be interested in hearing from you how you like the product, as we also are looking at it. Currently using Cerner AES....