Training future medical professionals in new Gurnick Academy simulation lab

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- One of California's largest medical simulation labs just opened in the Valley.

Students at Gurnick Academy of Medical Arts in northeast Fresno can now practice clinical skills on robotic patients.

The lab is similar to a hospital with multiple realistic robot patient simulators. Each patient is controlled by a technician who can recreate different scenarios students might see in the hospital.

"They take those scenarios, and they make them come to life," said simulation coordinator Shelvia Salvano. "They have vital signs they put onto the monitors so the students can see hemodynamic changes in heart rate, blood pressure and things of that nature."

According to Gurnick's campus, right now, there is a huge need for medical professionals. Najibullah AJ Sare wants to make sure students are prepared to work in a high-stress, fast-moving environment.

"It has to be second nature to the nurse to respond to the situation, rather than having to think about 'Okay, what's my next step?' It has to become second nature, and that's what we'll be able to provide," he said.

Student, Maia Jost, said the new sim lab allows them to transfer the skills they've learned in class onto a somewhat-real patient in a controlled environment.

"The mannequins breathe. They blink. They talk to you," said Jost. "You do an intervention, and they respond. It really is very realistic, so it's very helpful."

Gurnick is hoping to open the sim lab to other schools, universities and hospitals to continue training the Valley's future health leaders.

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