Havering nursing students practise their skills on mechanised mannikin, SimMan

Student nurses are practising their skills on SimMan. Jeanette Galley, second year BSc (Hons) Adult

Student nurses are practising their skills on SimMan. Jeanette Galley, second year BSc (Hons) Adult Nursing student with Joseph Smith, second year BSc (Hons) Adult Nursing student and of course SimMan - Credit: Archant

When John Crangle was training to be a nurse in the 1970s he had to rely on practising his skills on a plastic mannikin.

Student nurses are practising their skills on SimMan. Jeanette Galley, second year BSc (Hons) Adult

Student nurses are practising their skills on SimMan. Jeanette Galley, second year BSc (Hons) Adult Nursing student with Joseph Smith, second year BSc (Hons) Adult Nursing student, lecturer John Crangle and of course SimMan - Credit: Archant

“It was nothing more than a children’s doll, he said.

“We had to talk to it and we had to make it work in terms of trying to move its arms which were not at all flexible.”

But now, John’s students are honing their skills on a mechanised mannikin known as SimMan.

John, who is a senior lecturer in the Faculty of Health and Social Care at the Havering branch of South Bank University in Gubbins Lane, Harold Wood said: “The two just don’t compare at all.


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“I learned on a wooden mannikin, but now we are giving the students the chance to learn on SimMan and then transfer their skills to real patients.”

SimMan is a life sized model that talks, breathes and reacts to medicine in the same way as a real human.

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The mechanised mannikin’s gender as well as its vital statistics including respiration rate, pulse, blood pressure and oxygen saturation can be changed to demonstrate a variety of chronic and acute conditions.

Students can even ask SimMan basic questions, as it can be programmed with a number of pre-recorded answers, so that it verbally communicates.

Most importantly there is no risk to a patient’s health.

Student Joseph Smith said: “When your training there are lots of things that you can’t carry out on patients.

“The SimMan means that we can practise things like CPR in the way that they should be done.”

SimMan was recently introduced in the Havering branch of the university campus.

Students previously had to travel to the university’s Southwark campus in London to use a simulation doll.

The introduction of SimMan at the campus also coincides with International Nurses Day, which was celebrated last Friday.

John said: “SimMan is proof of the technological advancement that has been made in the medical field.

“It doesn’t stop there, the next thing we will be able to do is to set SimMan to have certain conditions and then to see how the condition has progressed.”

He added: “I have no doubt that we will be able to do this in the next two years.”

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