Robotic child simulator enhances nurse training

December 3, 2021

Sanford nurses are gaining advanced skills while training with a patient simulator named HAL, made possible by your philanthropy. 


A lifelike robotic simulator, purchased with philanthropic funds, is helping nurses at Sanford Children’s Bismarck gain hands-on experience.

Pediatric HAL, which simulates a 5-year-old boy, is capable of facial expressions, movement and speech. He can be programmed to simulate different scenarios, providing a standardized, consistent learning experience.

“I was very impressed at the quality of our new equipment,” said Dr. Aaron Van Ningen, who has been leading training sessions with HAL. “Simulation is the best teaching modality. It allows advanced education with no risk to the patients.”

While training with HAL, nurses can observe symptoms, take vital signs, administer medications, connect HAL to diagnostic equipment and observe how he responds to treatment.

Watch the robotic simulator:


At a cost of more than $50,000, HAL was a serious investment that wouldn’t have been possible without donor generosity!

“Thank you to everyone who helped bring this equipment to our hospital,” said Dr. Van Ningen. “You may not be able to see the difference it makes, but I know that our patients will receive much better care because of it.”


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