As students train to become medical professionals, hands on experience is crucial.

However, they won't come across every scenario possible - that's where simulation comes in. 

The mannequins in the Bryan Health Simulation Center may look like any other mannequin, but these simulators blink, breathe, and talk like a real patient.

"We can create a scenario so that they understand what medications, what assessments need to be done, who you need to call, when you need to call someone," Barbara Sittner said.

Sittner oversees the Simulation Center. In its new home at the Bryan East campus, the center provides students with hands on experience, minus the risk.

Students like Samantha Dirkschneider, who is in her last year of school.

"It's just a really safe place for us to go and see scenario's that we may not be able to see on the floor or during an every day clinical," Dirkschneider said.

The mannequins can do almost anything a real patient can, with students being able to dress wounds, set up an IV, or even deliver a baby.

Dirkschneider says that type of experience has helped her feel more than ready to enter the field.

"I can go into the hospital and say, hey we just did this SIM scenario the other day, I know exactly what to do," Dirkschneider said.

That's exactly the type of attitude this program is trying to instill.

These simulations are not only for practicing skills; they also get the students talking.

"It promotes teamwork and collaboration, and that's what we really need out in the healthcare environment is for everyone to work together," Sittner said.

The mannequins are also used outside of the Bryan College of Health Sciences.

Incoming nurses and doctors train with them, and medical professionals use them as they travel all around the state for educational purposes.

This program is on track with national and global trends, and plans to keep expanding, which is something everyone is looking forward to.

"I can't wait to see what happens and what comes to Bryan, we're always trying to grow and expand our horizons," Dirkschneider said.

For more information on the simulation program and the Bryan College of Health Sciences, visit https://www.bryanhealthcollege.edu/bcohs/hands-on-experiences/simulation-center/