Choosing the Right Training Manikin

Training manikins are used for teaching and practicing nursing and medical procedures or in first aid courses. There is a wide variety of training manikins, whose characteristics vary according to the procedures they are intended to teach or train. They are a valuable teaching tool, as they offer a realistic representation of the whole body or certain anatomical parts. They are also called training dummies.

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  • What are the different types of training manikins?

    Training manikins can be divided into two broad categories, depending on whether they represent humans or animals (for veterinary purposes).

    • Human manikin: Models are available that represent human patients with different characteristics:
      • Age:
        • Child or baby training manikins for pediatric care or obstetrics procedures
        • Adult manikin for general health care
        • Elderly manikin for geriatric care and gerontology
      • Sex: Male or female
      • Shape or configuration:
        • Full-body manikin: This type of manikin is very useful for training in all kinds of emergency procedures. Some brands offer very sophisticated models, with realistic representations of the joints (head, arms, and legs) or with replaceable springs, which simulate different sizes and levels of rigidity of the chest so that students can learn to apply the necessary force in chest compressions.
        • Body part manikin: Some manikins represent just one part of the body, either the upper body, such as the torso (for cardiopulmonary resuscitation) or the arm (for training in placing catheters or intravenous injections), or the lower body, such as the leg (for amputation training), the genitals (for palpating the prostate, for example), etc.
        • Manikin heads: There are specific head models for practicing anesthesia and dental treatments
    • Animal manikins: These are classified according to the species they represent (cattle, canines, felines, etc.) and can offer a greater or lesser degree of realism.

    Nasco full body training manikin

    Rescue Critters veterinary training manikin

    3B Scientific manikin torso

    Veterinary Simulator veterinary training manikin

  • What are the different applications of training manikins?

    There is a wide range of possible applications for training manikins, the most common being emergency procedures and certain medical specialties, such as gynecology and obstetrics or dentistry. The main applications are listed here:

    • Emergency care
    • Nursing care
    • Elderly care
    • Gynecology and obstetrics care: These include childbirth and fetal heart rate monitoring
    • Dental care: These manikins come equipped with special internal supports to ensure the stability of the jaws, make it easier to open the mouth, change jaws and teeth easily, etc.
    • Veterinary care: These include manikins for training in emergency procedures, splinting and bandaging, surgery, intravenous injections, dystocia, and animal research

    Sakamoto geriatric manikin

    Laerdal pediatric training manikin

    Reality Works emergency care training manikin

    Simulaids first aid training manikin

    In each area, there are specific manikins for different types of procedures. Here we highlight the most common ones:

    • CPR: Cardiopulmonary resuscitation in medical emergencies.
    • Heimlich maneuver: First aid technique to clear the airways in adults and children over one year old.
    • Injections: Manikins make it possible to train various injection procedures. The model simulates the human body and inserting the needle in a place other than the correct one sets off an alarm.
    • Auscultation: Some manikins allow you to assess heart, lung and/or intestinal conditions. These models help students to recognize, through auscultation, noises associated with various disorders. The sounds are produced when the stethoscope bell is placed in one of the correct anatomical locations.
    • Airway management: Certain models are designed for training in procedures such as tracheostomy, intubation, or manual lung ventilation.

    Ambu CPR training manikin

    3B Scientific auscultation training manikin

    Shanghai Honglian Medical Instrument Heimlich maneuver training manikin

    Prestan CPR training manikin

  • What materials are used to manufacture training manikins?

    Training manikins are made up of various materials. These must provide a realistic anatomical representation and a certain durability. The most recommended are latex models with PVC skin and silicone bones:

    • Tissue: Most often made of latex, a material appreciated for its flexibility, elasticity, and durability, among other things.
    • Skin: Can be made from PVC, a material that has the advantage of being highly resistant to corrosion. It is also odorless and easy to clean.
    • Bones: It is preferable to opt for manikins with a silicone bone structure.
    • Skull: Especially in the field of dentistry, it is important to have a manikin with a durable skull, made of a highly impact-resistant polymer.
  • How much does a training manikin cost?

    The prices of training manikins vary greatly, depending on the following factors:

    • Applications
    • Configuration
    • Accessories provided

    The cheapest ones, used for training in basic health care, cost around one hundred euros.

    The price can reach several thousand euros for manikins with varied applications or which include all the necessary accessories. For example, first aid training manikins usually come with a wide variety of accessories, such as a carrying bag, etc.

    On the other hand, full-body models are usually more expensive than partial ones.

  • What other factors should be taken into account when choosing a training manikin?

    When choosing a training manikin, other aspects must be taken into account, such as ease of transportation, durability, and anatomical fidelity.

    • Ease of transportation: In order to be easy to transport, the manikin must be light and compact. Therefore, pay attention to its weight and dimensions.
    • Durability: Manikins are intended to be used many times, so they must be very durable. The manufacturing material is important for the manikin’s strength.
    • Anatomical fidelity: It is essential that the manikin accurately reproduces the real anatomy to ensure the best possible training in the procedures in question and greater realism in the scenarios.
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