Barbara Metcalf

Barbara Metcalf

Frank N. Stein helps students learn

NANAIMO – Health care programs one of areas of Vancouver Island University available to tour during open house.

Health care students at Vancouver Island University benefit from Frank N. Stein.

While the computerized mannequin bears no similarities to the character from Mary Shelley’s famous novel, it does mimic a number of human reactions and is a simulator that is as close to human as possible.

Students are able to start an intravenous line and if they do a urinary catheter, will actually get urine coming back. It blinks, breathes and its tongue can swell to simulate an allergic reaction, according to Barbara Metcalf, professor and simulation coordinator with the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program.

The mannequin is in a training area set up like an acute care room, allowing students to use critical thinking among other things, Metcalf said.

“Often we’ll send students in in groups of two or three, so if we’ve got a problem we have to figure out, how do we do that with more than one person? There’s a medcart that has all the medications that they would normally see in the clinical setting.

“We have medication administration records, so all the paperwork is as close as we can get to acute care. So this gives them the opportunity to become immersed while doing those psycho-motor skills,” Metcalf said.

She said it allows students to judge human response without using an actual human and allows for simulations that would pose safety issues for a patient in a real setting.

“The student would normally have to think very quickly in this situation but here they don’t have to. So they can slow their thinking down and actually solve the problem, instead of having to have somebody step in and do it like they would in an acute-care setting,” said Metcalf.

Frank N. Stein will be on display at Vancouver Island University’s campus-wide open house on Friday (Oct. 3), which runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Please visit

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