Staff at the QEII Hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit have a new, hyper-realistic piece of equipment thanks to the generosity of those across the Grande Prairie region. The newborn and premature nursing care simulators will help staff working in the NICU have the most realistic, hands-on training possible.

According to Unit Head Greg Schmidt, they even look like real babies from a distance.

“The one mannequin, in particular, is based on a 29-week old premature baby, and it’s realistic to the point when the nurses who work in the NICU when they pick it up, they hold it like a real baby, talk to it like a real baby… the way it feels and responds to treatments.”

Schmidt says the new training devices will be not only a huge help to those currently in the unit, but will also be transferring over to their new home at the Grande Prairie Regional Hospital. He adds the planning stages for the shift in the location are ongoing.

“We are looking at transitioning into the new facility, so there will be a large amount of needs surrounding that, and transitioning for the NICU in particular to a little bit of a larger space, so there will be a lot of needs to get in there and to perform at the highest standards we can.”

The funds for the simulators were raised during the 2019 2day FM Cares for Kids Radiothon.