Dummies have feelings too

By Jessie Holeva
November 29, 2007

Medical students need to learn how to perform procedures. Want to be the frantic, shaky handed rookie’s version of the board game “Operation”? Now you don’t have to be. There’s a new guinea pig in town, well, manikin, that will take your place in the medical gown. It’s SimMan, super life-like and ready for medical treatment at your beck and call.

SimMan is pretty intriguing. I’m not a medical expert nor do I ever plan on venturing into that career path, but you’ve got to give it to science’s alarming advancement.

Okay, so a manikin doesn’t sound too impressive, but I meant it when I said lifelike. These fake people respond to your questions, show real human-like symptoms and could even give birth. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather a med student learn how to deliver a baby on a dummy instead of me any day.

If technology has made such advancements, then we should take advantage. After checking out SimMan’s Web site, I was impressed and fully on board. There are certain procedures students can experience before out in a hospital on residency.

These far from dumb dummies can simulate life threatening problems. It’s difficult for someone studying medicine to get hands-on experience for particular medical scenarios in a classroom.

That’s where SimMan comes in. “SimMan provides simulation-based education to challenge and test students clinical and decision-making skills during realistic patient care scenarios, according to Laerdal.com, the Web site of the company producing it.

Not just from a patient standpoint is it a good idea, but I could bet many studying medicine would appreciate practicing care giving to these practically human patients.

It’s difficult to go up to a real, living, breathing person with confidence and a self-assured demeanor when you’ve never done it before. SimMan is a great practice. They can make their mistakes and feel comfortable without it having an effect on a human life.

Real patient’s can come when students further along in their studies. SimMan was created to prepare students. It gives something a human can’t, a medical crisis on command.

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Jessie Holeva

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