This dummy can help save lives

LIHUE — Kauai Community College nursing program students will have a new 3G simulation manikin this year thanks to donations from HMSA and Wilcox Medical Center.

HMSA donated $45,000 and Wilcox pitched in $30,000. Two other foundations and the KCC nursing department also contributed funds.

The program’s previous manikin was at the end of its 10-year life and its manufacturer would no longer service it.

“It’s so important for our students to get experience caring for patients, where they can make mistakes and learn from them, before they treat actual patients. This technology will have a ripple effect throughout our community as our graduates go out to area clinics and hospitals,” said Helen Cox, KCC chancellor.

After each training scenario, students and instructors talk over how it went. Students learn from these experiences, which helps them to better anticipate and intervene in real clinical situations.

“We’re always looking for ways to support our local residents,” said Michael Gold, HMSA’s president and CEO. “We’re fortunate that the students from the KCC nursing program will support the health care needs of Kauai’s community members and we’re honored to be given another opportunity to invest in the health and well-being of Kauai.”

Jen Chahanovich, president and CEO of Wilcox Medical Center, said they were proud to support the initiative and the advanced education and training it will provide for KCC nursing students.

“Wilcox has had a longstanding partnership with KCC and many of our nurses are KCC graduates,” Chahanovich said. “Ultimately, our investment in their education as nursing students will benefit our entire community as they graduate and go on to work in our health care facilities with the skills and abilities needed to provide the best care possible for our patients.”

Manikin features

A key feature of the manikin is teaching students about safe medication administration, a priority in the program’s patient safety initiative. It recognizes the type and amount of medication given and reacts when medicine isn’t given correctly.

Since the manikin is wireless, instructors can also make it react to the students’ care through physical responses like sweating, blinking, bleeding and seizures.

The new manikin will be used for a variety of situations, including assessments, patient communication, cardiopulmonary resuscitation and challenging scenarios such as childbirth with complications, chest pain, breathing problems, unstable blood sugar and strokes.

“Simulation technology is the most revolutionary means of educating nursing students with critical thinking skills. The manikin will deliver realistic scenarios in a safe environment where nursing students can practice bridging the gap between training and clinical settings,” said Tammie Napoleon, associate professor of Nursing and KCC’s Health Education division chair.

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