March 19, 2019  

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University of Southern Mississippi Nursing Unveils State-of-the-Art Patient Simulators

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USM College of Nursing faculty member Heather Morris tests the functions of a new patient simulator, “Harvey,” that will be used as an instructional tool in her classes. (University Communications photo by David Tisdale)

“Harvey” isn’t much of a talker, but as the newest patient simulator in The University of Southern Mississippi’s College of Nursing Clinical Simulation Lab, his contributions to educating the next generation of nurses will speak volumes.

“The Next Generation Harvey®” is one of three patient simulators purchased by the College of Nursing with the support of a generous donation from Southern Miss benefactors Chuck and Rita Scianna. An advanced SynDaver manikin, which has synthetic tissues to mimic the mechanical, thermal and physicochemical properties of human tissue, was also purchased. The manikin is one of the world’s most sophisticated and anatomically correct simulation cadavers.

The state-of-the-art manikins, which replicate certain aspects of human physiology, will allow students in nursing undergraduate and graduate programs the opportunity to learn and understand different cardiac diseases by hearing and feeling how each cardiac disease affects a patient’s heart sounds, lung sounds, and cardiac pulses. With several of the manikins in need of replacement, remaining funds from the donation will be used to secure additional manikins for simulation experiences.

Two more patient simulators purchased through the gift are scheduled to arrive in the summer, said USM College of Nursing Simulation and IT Specialist Xavier Agee.

“When students return for the fall semester, they will have the opportunity to train on some of the most advanced patient simulators on the market,” Agee said.

Dr. Kathleen Masters, dean of the College of Nursing, expressed gratitude to the Sciannas for the gift, and is particularly pleased with the opportunities the patient simulators bring for students studying the impacts of cardiac diseases.

“These simulators allow both undergraduate students and graduate level advanced practice students the opportunity to be exposed to specific heart sounds and dysrhythmias as they prepare for clinical practice experiences,” Masters said.

Carolyn Coleman, Cathy Hughes, Lisa Green and Heather Morris were among College of Nursing faculty members to ‘meet’ with Harvey May 1 for a demonstration session in the Clinical Simulation Lab.

Morris said identification of heart and lung sounds, along with blood pressures, are key components of her health assessment courses. “He (Harvey) will be very beneficial to my students and what I teach,” she said.

For more information about the College of Nursing, visit For more information about the College of Nursing’s new SynDaver, visit