Child manikin gives student nurses real life experiences

The University of South Wales (USW) has become the first university in Wales to invest in a state of the art child manikin.

The manikin of a five year old mimics many of the behaviours expected from a young child when they are undergoing treatment in hospital. It will be used to teach undergraduate student nurses and post-graduate students undertaking specialist courses. It takes pride of place at USW’s Clinical Simulation Suite on its Glyntaff site. The university has invested in a number of hi-tech adult and baby manikins over the years and will continue to do so.

Sarah Gethin Davies, senior lecturer in child nursing at USW, said “From a teaching perspective, the new paediatric manikins – with its enhanced non-verbal responses and dynamic facial expressions, movement and speech – helps the student nurses learn skills of communication, examination and assessment of children in a safe simulated clinical environment in university. Working with the manikins helps student nurses develop communication skills as the manikin reacts to movement and turns its head and can be programmed to speak and portray emotions including anger, amazement, scared, worried, anxiety, tears, lethargy – ongoing and transient pain, and it even yawns. All these features add to the authenticity of the scenario, and enhance the simulated clinical experience for the students. Add to this the ability to take blood and glucose readings, the new manikins will give our student nurses the opportunity to learn all about how young children can act and react when admitted to hospital.”

Learning nursing skills in a simulated clinical environment is a key factor in the nursing courses at USW, allowing students to turn theory into practice in a safe and supervised environment.

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