A manikin is most closely associated with the concept of a full body patient simulator that safely allows for the training of clinical skills, cognitive thinking and behavioral communication in a professional healthcare setting. While some medical professionals still refer to these training devices as “Mannequins”, Manikins is the preferred term based on the increased use by research publications, organization, and vendors. A mannequin is more closely aligned with fashion, than healthcare.
A manikin can be used in situ or in a healthcare simulation environment such as those found within a simulation center. Other terms for manikin include human patient simulator, pediatric simulator, or surgery simulator. There are also Birthing Simulators, which is where new manikins come from — just kidding! Below are key resources for manikins including the latest news, top vendors, definitions and more!
Manikins can range in its level of realism from a low-fidelity manikin to high-fidelity manikin. A low-fidelity manikin is a segmented clinical task trainer capable of a small number of specific tasks or procedures, such as an IV-arm or a CPR manikin. A mid-fidelity manikin is usually a full-body simulated patient but with minimal computer components.
A high-fidelity manikin, like the SimMan, incorporates the latest in computer hardware technology, is commonly wireless and can be programmed to provide for a very realistic full-body patient presentation. A high-fidelity manikin can be used a variety of high-stakes learning scenarios and Interprofessional Education (IPE) such as a mock codes, postpartum hemorrhage or mass-casualty incidents.
Today, a manikin can be used in almost every aspect of healthcare education ranging from military para-rescue missions and first responder traumatic accidents to primary care simulation scenarios for nursing, medical and surgical training. Manikins are produced from a range of companies around the world, such as SimMan from Laerdal, Ares from CAE Healthcare, or Noelle from Gaumard.
Manikins help learners engage in patient assessment by providing cues as to the patient’s state through the demonstration of vital signs such as pupil dilation, rate of pulse, rate of breath through chest rise and fall, or circulation through cyanotic discoloration.
A manikin can also allow learners to safely administer medications as well as assess and treat simulated patients suffering from difficulty breathing, heart failure, a blocked airway, massive blood loss and many other healthcare simulation scenarios.
Professional healthcare educators and medical simulation staff usually add moulage and other props including wigs or clothing to their manikin to create a more realistic patient presentation. Healthcare simulation scenarios incorporating a manikin are usually digitally recorded through a learning management system such as those available from Level 3 Healthcare (Distributors of SIMStation in the US), EMS SimulationIQ, B-Line Medical or KBPort so that afterwards participants can examine their own performance in a debriefing session. Such learning takes place well after healthcare students have used digital technologies to learn 3D Anatomy!
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