June 26, 2011
June 26, 2011
June 29, 2011
22.179.1 - 22.179.12
An Innovative Interdisciplinary Student Project: Engineering and NursingTypical projects involving engineering students identified as ‘interdisciplinary’ usually involvedifferent disciplines within engineering. Projects that are truly interdisciplinary can bediscovered when faculty from different areas of campus work together toward development of aproject involving students from outside their discipline. This paper presents results of one sucharrangement.During a tour of a new nursing laboratory, engineering noticed possible design improvements invarious manikins (life-sized anatomical human models) in the nursing laboratory. A team of firstyear engineering students was given the opportunity to work with an upperclass student with aninterest in biomedical engineering and faculty from nursing and engineering toward designimprovement in Noelle™, a manikin who simulates birth through both cephalic presentation andmalpresentation; head or feet first.The students were charged with nearly all aspects of the project including preparing a proposal,documenting progress, reporting to faculty and community on the status of the project and a finalposter presentation and engineering report.The final project involved two specific redesigns. First, a microphone that simulates fetalheartbeats was repositioned and rewired since the cords were often damaged during the birthsimulation. Second, both the umbilical cord and its attachment point to the baby manikin wasredesigned because the original attachment point weakened the umbilical cord and often led to abroken and unusable cord. The attachment into the baby manikin was fitted with a push-lockconnector and the free end of the umbilical cord was capped off in order to fit comfortably intothe new attachment point.This report offers information to allow similar Universities, especially those without a formalbiomedical engineering undergraduate program, to explore the implementation of similarinterdisciplinary projects. It includes a description of the working arrangement between facultyin nursing and engineering and the student team, description of deliverables from the studentteam, results of the design implementations, and discussion of professional skills developedthrough the process. The report will also include testimonials from the students with a self-assessment of the value of the project.
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