Avbirth Wearable Birthing Simulator a Game Changer for Realistic Maternal-Fetal Education
Well before the COVID-19 pandemic, many colleges and universities began reporting significant challenges in providing the quantity and quality of clinical exposure they need for their learners in specialty areas (such as labor and delivery). This is because the phenomenon of childbirth is not intuitive to learners who have had no personal or professional experience with the birthing process (Richards, 2018). Unique to this specialty area, nurses are often asked to maintain focus on both mom and baby while recognizing the impact of cultural beliefs and anxieties prevalent throughout the experience of childbirth. This article details author Amy Cowperthwait’s experience with nursing students during her own daughter’s birthing process.
This year I was privileged to be present with my daughter and son-in-law for the birth of my first grandchild. The educator in me quickly recognized that the nursing learners in their labor and delivery rotation were getting short-changed. Three different learners came and introduced themselves throughout our stay, all of them were completing their last semester of nursing school. Only one of them actually took an active part in my daughter’s care, and she had the opportunity to come into the room and take vital signs.
The educator in me could not take it another minute. I began pointing to the TOCO monitor when a contraction was ascending and I asked the learner if they would like to palpate the fundus and feel the tightness of a contraction. I was shocked at the observational role these nursing learners were taking in their last semester of nursing school. Healthcare simulation education, following standards of best practice, is the perfect teaching modality to address the limitations in hands-on care available during clinical and the unavoidable inconsistent experiences in women’s health rotations.
For these reasons and many others, the release announcement of wearable devices manufacturer Avkin’s Avbirth has become a maternal-fetal “game-changer.” The technological advancements, wearable design, and pre-programmed simulations set his technology apart as the gold standard for maternal-fetal simulation education. Further, the tetherless wearable birthing simulator has been designed to:
- Authentically simulate all stages of childbirth.
- Closely mimic the physiology of the birthing process.
- Cue the “mother” during contractions via haptic vibrations.
- Replicate obstetrical emergencies commonly encountered in marginalized populations.
Upcoming Healthcare Simulation Webinar – “Fidelity Matters: Ways to Maximize Learning by Using Simulated Participants and Wearable Hybrid Simulators” (Feb. 8th, 10 AM PST): This presentation will provide ways to increase fidelity for your clinical simulation experiences, including a demonstration of the new Avbirth wearable birthing simulator.
The “simulated mother” can ambulate untethered during early labor, promoting dilation, and effacement as they transition to active labor. Learners can now realistically practice coaching through a contraction because the mother and support person can both receive haptic signals at the wrist that follow the ebb and flow of the contraction.
Through Bluetooth connection of Avbirth to the Avkin App, the healthcare simulation facilitator can program the release of amniotic fluid and/or blood at any stage of labor. This technology enhances the assessment throughout the birthing process for the learners to practice needed communication skills and make clinical judgments about the health and well-being of both the mother and infant throughout labor and delivery.
In addition to “on the fly” controls of the fluids, rate, strength, and length of contractions, and the baby’s station during the birthing process. Also included with the free download of the Avkin App (IOS or Android) are 4 pre-programmed simulations making the Avbirth an easy plug-and-play solution.
Birth is one of the four life events where cultural competence and awareness of social determinants of health really impact the care of the patient and family. Avbirth’s diversity package comes complete with three healthcare simulations that include objectives related to understanding the impact culture, social determinants of health, and childbirth experience of marginalized populations.
Learners can now encounter the full range of vaginal birth presentations while authentically interacting with the laboring mother and their significant other. As learners will now be interacting with real people, educators can include teaching objectives that demonstrate the best practices that you teach in the classroom and until now, wish they experienced in a clinical learning environment.
Overall, Avbirth is setting the standard for childbirth education in healthcare simulation. The solution is easy to set up, re-rack, and clean up. Plus, Avkin’s team of designers and engineers focused on combining just the right amount of technology to provide you with a broad range of maternal-fetal simulations while keeping Avbirth an easy plug-and-play solution, seamlessly filling the void and inconsistencies of clinical learning.
“Some of the scenarios you showed us with Avbirth; the postpartum hemorrhage, the shoulder dystocia. Nobody is going to allow a student to stay by the bedside and critically think through what is happening in clinical practice because the stakes are too high. In the sim lab, we can do that, and pairing the standardized patients with Avbirth makes it that much more real,” said Marilynn Murphy DNP, RN, CHSE, CNE, Thomas Jefferson University.
The company is also excited to announce two key partnerships that complete the package offering. The hyper-realistic newborn included with the purchase of Avbirth is the result of a partnership with Lifecast; which will ensure learners have a hyper-realistic newborn to assess and after birth. Additionally, iSimulate’s CTGI, fetal heart monitor as an optional add-on with Avbirth to extend Avbirth’s opportunity to develop critical thinking and clinical decision-making during simulation. Set a clinical simulation program apart from others by creating the highest quality maternal education experience with Avkin’s Avbirth.
More About Avkin
Avkin is a manufacturer of wearable devices for use in healthcare simulations and is a consultant for standardized patient programs. Founded by a nurse educator, Avkin provides a simulation solution that combines the best of high-fidelity mannequins and the realism of standardized patients for the most authentic simulation experience possible. The company believes that the key to success in patient-centered care is practitioner training through realistic healthcare simulations and that human interaction is irreplaceable in clinical education.
Rooted in the Latin words, “Akin” and “Vera,” Avkin is the combination of the two. With Akin meaning ‘of similar character,’ and vera meaning ‘truth,’ our goal has always been to create the best quality products that allow for education to be ‘of similar character’ and ‘true’ to what the learners will experience in real life.
Richards, M. (2018). Understanding the Student Perception of the Birth Process. Retrieved from https://digitalcommons.northgeorgia.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1027&context=honors_theses