A new scan-training robot is teachings sonography students through simulation and physical interaction.
The sonography program at Laramie County Community College received a new scan-trainer robot and stand that helps students become more comfortable with trans-vaginal ultrasounds. The machine consists of a scanner attached to a robotic arm that simulates the anatomy of an actual person, and computer simulation of an ultrasound with a virtual cut away of the person’s organs.
Adrienne Wade, director of the Diagnostic Medical Sonography program, bought the scan-trainer last summer to help students better understand trans-vaginal scanning.
“A lot of feedback came back from our clinical sites saying our students weren’t prepared enough to do vaginal ultrasounds,” Wade said.
Sheridan Hanson, instructor of Diagnostic Medical Sonography, explained that the robot can simulate the anatomy of a real person and can show the anatomy of a person in an on-screen simulation.
“One of the hardest things to understand is you’re taking 3D structure and taking slices out of it,” Hansen said. “The best part about this machine is that it demonstrates the 3D structure that you’re imaging so it will have a uterus on the screen and it will show you which slice you are taking.”
According to Hanson, LCCC students are much more comfortable with the scanning procedure after their first semester in the Sonography program.