How Healthcare Students Practice on Manikins

Internal Medicine

18 Mar 2021 | 0 | by kjh

31740login-checkHow Healthcare Students Practice on Manikins

This spring, the School of Health Sciences and Human Performance (HSHP) at Ithaca College is creating a new patient simulation lab, which will allow students to get hands-on experience with two state-of-the-art, high fidelity human patient simulation manikins.

It will be set up like a real hospital room, and the manikins can be preprogrammed with various lifelike scenarios. Students will be able to perform a number of diagnostics on the manikins, including monitoring their breathing, heart rate, and blood pressure. Students can even get electrocardiogram (ECG) readings and place intravenous lines. There are also add-ons available, like wound care kits.

Samantha Brown, assistant professor and assistant director of clinical education in the Department of Physical Therapy says “Students will have to react like they would with a real patient but in a low-stakes environment.” 

About the Manikins

The manikins are:

  • 5 feet, 4 inches tall
  • 50 pounds
  • Portable (they have rechargeable batteries)
  • Wireless (they also come with their own app and learning management tool)

They can:

  • Breathe
  • Have vital signs
  • Have physiological responses (such as pupil dilation, rapid changes in vital signs)
  • Open and close their eyes
  • Talk

Students get to practice in the relatively low-pressure environment of the lab before embarking on their external internships. Faculty members can record students’ interactions with the manikins, store the video online and debrief simulation videos with the students providing valuable feedback. Students will also be able to debrief with their peers after a simulation and give and receive peer feedback. Research has shown that learning to provide real-time feedback can be a valuable learning tool for students.

“This is helpful for student learning. Even for identifying nonverbal cues, body language, making eye contact with the patient, or doing something else while you’re talking to a patient. To be able to see what that looks like to the patient or to someone outside of the situation is a valuable learning experience,” Brown says. “We can correct them that all we want, but until they see it, they don’t realize how much it impacts the care that they’re giving.”


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