Make healthcare training more realistic with a manikin

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To reach the required level of excellence in patient handling, healthcare professionals must undergo extensive training. Using a manikin can enhance this training.

World leading training manikin manufacturer, Ruth Lee, have supplied manikins for training in the healthcare, fire and rescue services since the 1980s. They now supply a manikin range of more than 20 shapes and sizes, from a 5kg baby to a 260kg bariatric adult.

During Covid, given that close contact training using colleagues has presented additional risks, the need for specialist training manikins has never been more vital. Correctly weighted manikins not only offer a solution for safe distance training, however. They allow for meaningful, realistic training in patient handling that minimizes the risk of injury to staff and patients and enables healthcare staff to provide outstanding care.

Manikins accurately represent an unresponsive body

In a roleplay situation there is an instinctive tendency by ‘the patient’ to assist fellow trainees by moving, lifting, transferring weight and flexing muscles. This compromises the quality of the training. A manikin can’t assist, so will realistically represent the weight and position of an unconscious or truly immobile patient.

By using Ruth Lee manikins, trainees can receive meaningful training in using hoists, slings, wheelchairs, slide sheets and other equipment. Crucially, a manikin provides a realistic moving and handling experience.

Case study: Occupational Therapist, Angela Brown, specialises in the care of children and young people up to the age of 25. She uses Ruth Lee manikins for training, and says that the heavy weight of the manikins often surprises trainees. They may have been previously trained with a child pretending to be the patient who is easier to move than a manikin. The concern in practice is that, faced with a child who is unresponsive and unable to assist, the lack of realistic training will lead to panic.

Safer training and work practices

Effective training and the implementation of safe practices helps to avoid workplace injury.

Statistically, Healthcare Workers are at a high risk of workplace injury, caused by lifting and handling and so it is important that all workers in the sector receive adequate training to minimise these risks.

Guidance from those in the know, including the Canadian Centre of Occupational Health and Safety, offer advice on lifting and handling, including the importance of training. They state:

The physical stresses and exertion involved in caring for nursing home and hospital patients has caused rising numbers of back injuries and other musculoskeletal problems.

These injuries generally result from the long-term cumulative physical effort of patient transfers as well as acute effects, which result from incidents during transfers.

An ergonomic approach to patient handling that is part of an overall program to reduce musculoskeletal injuries can benefit caregivers and employers alike.”

By using manikins, trainees learn the safest way to lift that will protect them from musculoskeletal injury in their daily jobs.

Safe work practices start with safe training. We believe that using a manikin poses less risk for both the participant and the volunteer. Furthermore, as we continue to steer our way through the COVID-19 pandemic, the use of manikins in training minimises person-to-person contact, making sessions safer for all participants.

Joanne Caffrey, MD of Total Train Ltd, uses Ruth Lee manikins in her training sessions. She is clear that the more realism trainees experience, the higher their confidence in dealing with challenging situations. Trainees are more proactive in sessions when there is no fear of hurting each other.

Now available in Canada with ALG Safety

Ruth Lee manikins are not a one-size-fits-all solution, and you need to speak to the experts to make sure you find the perfect training manikin. Ruth Lee Healthcare manikins are now available in Canada with ALG Safety, and we would urge you to give us a call so that we can chat through your needs, without obligation. We’re a friendly, knowledgeable team, committed to helping you to provide outstanding care. Please contact us on 905-517-7406



For more information call 01490 413282, or go to Ruth Lee, Lambert House, Glyndyfrdwy, Corwen, Denbighshire, Wales, LL21 9HW