Lakehead University’s next-generation nursing manikin is helping train students to save a patient’s life


Fourth-year nursing student Marian Aigbogun, left, demonstrated CPR on Thursday, Aug. 24. Nursing Simulation Lab Coordinator Caroline Sabotig used a tablet to control the manikin and to show Aigbogun if the CPR was effective. 

August 24, 2023 – Thunder Bay, Ont.   

Meet the new CAE simulation manikin that is now helping Lakehead University nursing students prepare for what it’s like to save someone’s life during a Code Blue emergency. 

A Code Blue is called when a patient’s breathing or heart stops. Understandably, this can be a high-anxiety moment for learners. 

However, thanks to the Nursing Simulation Lab where the new manikin is used, Lakehead University’s nursing students can practice their cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) skills and team response in a safe environment. 

The School of Nursing has been running simulated Code Blue labs for its final year BScN students since 2009. 

With this new, high-tech manikin, students experience fully functioning and changeable vital signs (e.g., breathing, heartbeat, pulse), along with digital eye and pupil reactions. The new manikin offers computerized feedback in real time about the quality and consistency of each student’s efforts. 

Through the behind-the-scenes activities of the Nursing Simulation Lab Coordinator, Caroline Sabotig, the manikin can speak with students until the moment they realize they must act fast to save the manikin’s life. 

With this new manikin, students will know if they are doing compressions properly when performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation, also known as CPR, since the manikin indicates has software that provides real-time feedback on the quality and consistency of the resuscitation efforts. 

Fourth-year nursing student Marian Aigbogun said this simulation manikin has given her an experience that is very close to real life. 

“Now I have the confidence and expertise to respond in a timely and professional manner when faced with a real Code-Blue situation,” Aigbogun said.

The state-of-the-art manikin is compliant with the American Heart Association’s cardiac life support guidelines. 

“This manikin is the highest of high tech – it’s extraordinarily lifelike,” said Dr. Kristen Jones-Bonofiglio, Director of the School of Nursing. 

“Not only does it look around the room like a real patient, but students get instant feedback, showing them if they are doing CPR correctly. The new manikin even has articulations – with joints that allow for realistic movement.” 

This is another example of how Lakehead University is preparing nurses to work in Northwestern Ontario and beyond. 

“With all of these features and benefits, this manikin provides our students with an advantage when it comes time to head out into the workforce,” Dr. Jones-Bonofiglio said.

This mannikin was purchased thanks to donations from very dedicated alumni, faculty, staff, and friends. A total of $25,000 was raised and the School of Nursing's students, faculty and staff are very grateful for the support. 

“This new resource is truly the result of a community effort. We had generous donations come to the School of Nursing that allowed us to launch a shared funding campaign toward this important purchase,” Dr. Jones-Bonofiglio said. 

“This new manikin is very lifelike and contributes much needed diversity to our growing family of high-tech manikins here at the School of Nursing.” 

The Dean of the Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences, Dr. Mirella Stroink, said they are thrilled to offer this advanced simulation manikin as part of the student-learning experience in Lakehead University’s School of Nursing. 

“The immediate feedback that the manikin provides allows for real-time learning in a safe and supportive laboratory space. We are truly grateful for the generous donations and ongoing support of our community,” Dr. Stroink said.






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Lakehead University is a fully comprehensive university with approximately 9,700 full-time equivalent students and over 2,000 faculty and staff at two campuses in Orillia and Thunder Bay, Ontario. Lakehead has nine faculties, including Business Administration, Education, Engineering, Graduate Studies, Health & Behavioural Sciences, Law, Natural Resources Management, Science & Environmental Studies, and Social Sciences & Humanities. Lakehead University’s achievements have been recognized nationally and internationally, including being ranked in the top half of Times Higher Education's 2023 World Universities Rankings for the fourth consecutive year, and the number one university in the world with fewer than 9,000 students in THE’s 2023 Impact Rankings (which assesses institutions against the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals). Visit