(TNS) — For students in the health field, real-world practice is needed to understand patient care and health procedures, but it isn't always feasible for a student to react in a scenario where a patient needs serious care without running the risk of making mistakes — which could be fatal.

That's where iStan comes in, iStan is a high tech patient simulator built to be anatomically correct, and designed with students and health professionals in mind. Recently, the Scioto County Career and Technical Center received an iStan of their own.

Purchased through a Regionally Aligned Priorities in Delivering Skills (RAPIDS) grant with Southern State Community College, the simulator will play a vital role in developing patient care programs at Scioto Tech.

iStan looks, breathes and feels like a real person and operates through a series of coded computer scenarios, which allow it to respond like an actual patient would. Each step of the script can be altered, to make sure students know how to respond to atypical situations.

iStan can use pre-recorded speech responses, or an operator can use a headset and microphone to speak for iStan, adding another element of authenticity to the experience.

"The person in the control room can see through cameras, what the students are doing," explained Marquita Riepenhoff, Scioto Tech's Post-Secondary Director. "They can use scenarios based on curriculum concepts that they're learning in the classrooms to gain a sense of what it would actual be like for patient care. They've practiced it in their classrooms on mannequins, they've learned it and reviewed it and then they can come up and practice on iStan before they move on into their clinical sites. They get to learn what it's like to work with a person, though he's not real."

Both the secondary and post-secondary students in direct patient care programs will be able to use the iStan simulator in their studies.

"I visited Suncoast Technical College in Sarasota Florida, and they have four simulators there, women, children, babies, it's amazing what they can do," explained Riepenhoff. "What they like to do, is let the student go into the room with the simulator by themselves, like they would if they were at work. The instructor usually stays in the control room, so they can see what's going on. From there, the student can do the procedure without looking for their instructor or ask 'am I doing this right?' Then they learn what it's like to be in a patient's room, further preparing them for the clinical setting. It's really amazing."

The iStan technology is complex, the staff and students are still learning the different programs and scenarios and seeing how far they can push the limits. iStan is slowly being implemented into the curriculum and as the staff becomes more familiar with the operating system, they hope to do more with the simulations.

Scioto Tech is located at 951 Vern Riffe Drive in Lucasville. For questions regarding high school programs, please call 740-259-5522, for questions regarding post-secondary programs, please call 740-259-5526.

Reach Ciara Conley at 740-981-6977, Facebook "Ciara Conley -- Daily Times," and Twitter @PDT_Ciara.

©2017 The Portsmouth Daily Times (Portsmouth, Ohio), distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.