Nursing students benefit from new “smart” IV technology

May 1, 2013

Students in the Texas A&M Health Science Center (TAMHSC) College of Nursing are getting practical experience with state-of-the-art medication safety technology thanks to new intravenous (IV) “smart” infusion pumps. The college recently acquired Sigma Spectrum Infusion Pumps and Medfusion® 3500 Syringe Infusion Pumps for simulation activities.

Smart Pumps

College of Nursing invests in medication safety system to enhance student learning of clinical skills.

Designed to reduce the risk of human error associated with medication dosing, the smart infusion system transforms a conventional IV into a computerized device complete with a customizable drug library.

“If a medication is being given too fast or too slow, or at the wrong concentration, the technology automatically warns medical staff,” said Sharon Wilkerson, Ph.D., RN, CNE, dean of the TAMHSC-College of Nursing. “This guarantees patients are receiving the correct infusion, at the correct time, adding another layer of protection in patient care.”

The new pumps are housed in the Clinical Learning Resource Center, a simulated hospital equipped with the latest tools and technology to enhance student learning on both the Bryan and Round Rock campuses. The Medfusion® 3500 Syringe Infusion Pumps are being implemented in clinical simulations in the college’s pediatrics course and the Sigma Spectrum Infusion Pumps in the adult health course.

Smart Pumps

Students learn on both the Sigma Spectrum Infusion Pumps and the Medfusion 3500 Syringe Infusion Pumps, pictured above.

With an estimated 770,000 injuries and deaths each year due to adverse drug events, smart pumps are a popular choice in hospitals. In fact, according to an American Society of Health-System Pharmacists survey, smart pumps are now used in 77 percent of hospitals nationwide.

“The new smart pumps will allow us to teach our students in a hands-on learning environment so they will be confident and well-versed with the technology prior to entering the workforce as a registered nurse,” Dr. Wilkerson said.

The new technology adds to the college’s other medication safety initiatives, including the Pyxis MedStation™ 4000, an automated drug storage and dispensing system.

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— Holly Shive

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