Foundation gift offsets cost of new ‘high fidelity’ medical manikin
The advanced technology helps medical students as well as community members work through tricky processes in a risk-free environment.
Before third-year KU School of Medicine-Wichita students assist with a live birth, they have at least one chance to practice in the simulation lab.
There, the “patient” is Victoria, a medical manikin that functions much like a real expectant mother: It responds to medical equipment and simulates a range of scenarios as specific as a breach in the seventh month.
KU School of Medicine-Wichita students have been using the Gaumard Victoria S2200 manikin since 2016, said Erin Doyle, program director for the Simulation Center at the medical school. Every third-year has at least one experience with a vaginal delivery using the manikin, and it’s an important part of preparing them to join an obstetrics service.
“Simulation is aimed at increasing patient safety,” Doyle said. “It’s an opportunity to build up a little muscle memory practicing the technique of catching that slippery guy or gal.”
When Victoria’s warranty neared its expiration date last year, the medical school began looking for a way to purchase a new one. A grant from a local foundation covered 89% of the cost of a new model, according to Brad Rukes, KU Endowment development director at KU School of Medicine-Wichita.
“The foundation trustees were very excited about the technology and how students can learn about obstetrics and gynecology in a risk-free environment and without having to wait to assist with a live birth,” Rukes said.
Doyle said the new Victoria comes with “all the bells and whistles,” including a variety of abdomens and perineums. It has a cesarean section belly, and students can use the manikin to practice well-woman exams and IUD placement.
The most recent model is more advanced than the old S2200, Doyle said, but the new feature she’s most excited about is that the new Victoria comes in a medium skin tone. The new manikin adds to the different skin tones of manikins in the Simulation Center. Most medical manikins are manufactured in Scandinavia, so the first Victoria was blonde and blue-eyed. The disparities in health outcomes between white and nonwhite mothers mean that it’s important for students to learn how to treat all kinds of patients, Doyle said — even in the Sim Center.
She also emphasized the importance of simulation to learning. Victoria’s advanced technology helps medical students work through tricky processes in a risk-free environment.
“Our primary focus is a safe learning environment for our students,” Doyle said. “What happens in sim stays in sim, so it’s really a safe place for learning.”
Since the original Victoria arrived in the Sim Center, students and professionals outside the medical school have had the opportunity to learn from her. These include area high school students who attend the annual Doc for a Day program. The students can learn a variety of skills, including delivery. Doyle said Victoria set the record for births during one year, completing an astonishing 54 deliveries in six hours.
“Everyone loves to deliver a baby or see one born, and this manikin is about as lifelike as you can get,” she said.
Others who have learned from Victoria include middle schoolers studying reproductive health and physicians and nurses at the Robert J. Dole VA Medical Center. Since the first Victoria arrived on campus, more than 7,500 learners have interacted with the manikin, said Rukes.
"The more we can bring the community into what we do, the more concerned citizens can support things that will help us all out,” he said. “Ultimately, the health care we get at the end of the day as Wichitans will be better for this foundation’s contributions.”