We bring dummies to life

The Secret Hospital

There is a secret hospital right here in Ayrshire where the patients are not humans but are in actual fact dummies that can walk, talk, urinate and even have heart attacks.

You may be wondering how a dummy can do many of these things without being a fully functioning human being. The answer: they are controlled through a computerised system which sends messages, dictated by the owner, to the dummy to carry out any of the above actions. With regards to costing these dummies don’t come cheap. They have a price tag of around £60,000 making them very rare to come across.

DYW Ayrshire however, were extremely fortunate to meet one of these dummies located within the University of the West of Scotland during a tour around the campus. Our tour guide Stewart Kerr, a fully qualified Nurse and Lecturer at the University of the West of Scotland explained why these dummies have been brought into the University and why students use them as part of their education and training.

As we entered the room we were amazed; it was set up exactly like a hospital ward and the resemblance was uncanny. We were greeted by the dummy known as ‘Mr Smith’ who was tucked up in a hospital bed with all the relevant hosptial equipment around him. Above each of the beds and placed around the room were CCTV cameras which Stewart informed us are put in place to monitor students during their time in the ward and the recordings are also used to grade students during their examinations.

The students take it in turns to enter the ward on their own and wait for their lecturer to send a message to the dummy which they have to be able to respond quickly and appropriately to. The lecturer and the rest of the class watch on as the dummy takes a cardiac arrest for instance, and watch how the student reacts to this situation. By having this system in place students can learn from each other and it allows them to gain a more real life experience.

(Mr Smith)
(CCTV Monitoring Room)

Dummies at UWS are having babies

Dummies at UWS can not only walk, talk, urinate and have heart attacks but there are even dummies within the University that are having babies. Yes, these dummies are actually computerised to give birth to a baby and show all the real life symptoms of a woman during her time in labour.

These dummies are used for students who are studying Midwifery to give them as real an experience as possible before they enter a maternity unit within a hospital.

(Pregnant Dummy)


My tin of baked beans talk to me

During our visit Stewart showed us the ‘Dementia Room’. This room has been set up for students to learn about all aspects of dementia and it shows them the daily struggles a  dementia patient will experience. There is a front door that leads you into the open plan living room/dining area. Off this is a small functioning kitchen and a small bathroom.

(Dementia Room)

Stewart explained that certain areas of a dementia patients house need to be modified to enable them to have an easy way of living. For example, if a patient has a light coloured carpet and light coloured walls the skirting boards should be painted in red to enable the patient to see where the floor stops and the wall starts to stop them from hurting themselves or falling over.

There is also a clock in the living room which tells the patient whether it is day time or night time as in the winter months when it is dark in the mornings dementia patients find it difficult to remember whether it is morning or night.

clock again.png
(Day & Night Clock)

In the kitchen there are many gadgets that can be used to ensure a patient is safe at all times. Firstly, Stewart showed us plastic lids that fit on the top of tin cans and hold a voice recording. The idea of this is the patients carer can speak into the lid and record what food is in the tin. The plastic lid with the recording is then placed on the relevant tin can and before opening the patient can play the recording to hear what is inside.

He also showed us a kettle that talks when there is enough water inside and a gadget that is attached to a cup which vibrates when the cup is full. This stops the patient from over filling the kettle or cup so there is less chance of them spilling water or hurting themself.

baked beans.JPG
(Recording Lids)

Stewart explained dementia patients usually have difficulty remembering information from the short term memory however information from the long term memory tends to comes back more easily. To help trigger the long term memory a dementia box  can be placed on the wall with old pictures or objects inside to help the patient remember past experiences. An example of this can be seen below:

(Dementia Box)


After our tour around the amazing facilities within the University we sat down to interview Stewart to find out exactly why he decided to pursue a career in Nursing. Stewart explained Nursing is always stereotyped as a females job and that only 20% of Nursing students within the University are male. This shows a huge gender gap and a large need for male nurses within the industry.

Stewart also explained that if there was to be a hospital crisis where extra beds and space for patients was needed, the University would be able to accommodate for 20 extra patients and have all the relative equipment on site, even full flowing oxygen.

(Hospital Ward in University)

His passion for this job role was clear to see and with over 20 years experience as a practising Nurse he highly recommends both males and females to pursue a career in this industry. Watch our full interview with Stewart below:



If your passionate about your profession and would like to share your story with us please get in touch today.

E: info@dywayrshire.com

T: 01292 678666


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