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New arrival joins nursing department’s family of simulators

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NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – As Bethel College was welcoming returning alumni as well as families of graduating seniors for the annual Alumni and Commencement Weekend, another new arrival made its debut in the nursing department.

Gregg Schroeder, director of Bethel’s nursing program, introduced visitors to SimBaby®, the newest computerized mannequin. The simulator has all the characteristics of a six-month-old female baby.

“SimBaby® has full monitoring capabilities to give our students the experience of working with an infant in [the Intensive Care Unit],” Schroeder said. “They can do an EKG, take vital signs, start an IV, do assessments of [typical] head issues or code it like on ‘ER.’ SimBaby® has breath, heart and bowel sounds. It can turn cyanotic – the blue tinge around the mouth that indicates a low oxygen level. It cries, coos, coughs and has all kinds of vocalizations. The only thing it won’t do is try to crawl out of its crib.”

Schroeder reported that visitors, who were taking the walking tour of campus that is a part of annual Alumni Weekend activities, were “impressed that we’re able to have this kind of technology to work with our students. Many were overwhelmed with the technology and where it has gone – what we’re able to do with our students right here on campus.”

SimBaby® joins the Bethel nursing department’s family of computerized simulators intended to cover a wide variety of medical scenarios. These include SimMan® as well as Noelle, a birthing simulator, with the accompanying PreemieBaby®.

Only a handful of baccalaureate level nursing programs in the state of Kansas have this kind of computer technology to train junior-level nursing students beginning clinical rotations.

SimBaby®’s purchase was enabled by a $20,000 grant from the K.T. Wiedemann Foundation, along with several individual donor gifts, said Sondra Bandy Koontz, Bethel’s vice president for advancement.

Karl Wiedemann established the K.T. Wiedemann Foundation in 1959. He was an El Dorado native who lived in Minneapolis, Minn., and then Wichita, and developed extensive business interests in the oil and gas industry as well as ranching. He died in 1961 in an automobile accident near Leon. His wife, Gladys Wiedemann, served as trustee and president for the foundation until her death in 1991. Mr. Wiedemann was known as an astute and determined businessman, cited for “his unfailing integrity, innate modesty and acts of philanthropy, always anonymously given to worthy organizations.”

Bethel College is a four-year liberal arts college affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. Founded in 1887, it is the oldest Mennonite college in North America. Bethel is known for its academic excellence and has been named a Top Tier college by U.S. News & World Report every year since 1998. For more information, see the Bethel Web site at www.bethelks.edu.

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