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College of Technology Introduces Life-Like Manikins for Health Occupations Training

February 8, 2024

The Idaho State University College of Technology has recently enhanced its Health Occupations Simulation Lab with six new manikins to increase the realism for students in programs utilizing the lab.

Funded by the Leading Idaho Grant, the upgrade reflects Governor Brad Little's commitment to modernizing career technical education across the state. This initiative equips institutions like ISU with the latest in training technology, ensuring students receive contemporary educational experiences. The new manikins are a significant addition, offering a realistic training environment that mirrors real-world clinical scenarios.

These Echo Healthcare "Lifecast Manikins” are particularly beneficial for a range of programs including associate degree registered nurse, medical assisting, occupational therapy assistant, physical therapist assistant, practical nursing, and respiratory therapy. Notably, half of the new manikins are infant models, providing essential training for students specializing in neonatal intensive care.

Curtis Gearhardt, the clinical simulation coordinator at the ISU College of Technology, highlights the impact of these manikins: “Students at times have expressed difficulty in engaging the manikins due to them not being real enough. That won't be an issue with these mannequins, they are very real!

A key feature of the Health Occupations Simulation Lab is its ability to provide a platform where some students can complete some of their clinical hour requirements. This aspect underscores the lab's realism and effectiveness in preparing students for real-world medical scenarios.

“With the introduction of these highly advanced manikins, our students are not just learning, they're experiencing the complexities of patient care in a way that textbooks alone cannot provide. This hands-on approach, supported by the Leading Idaho Grant, is vital for preparing the next generation of healthcare professionals. It's not just about technology; it's about creating a bridge between classroom learning and real-world application,” said Jennie Brumfield, co-chair of the Health Occupations Department at the ISU College of Technology.

Apart from enhancing education within the College, these manikins also play a role in community outreach. They are set to be utilized in the Emergency Medicine Conference at ISU, scheduled for February 8-10.

This enhancement of the Health Occupations Simulation Lab with advanced manikins represents a significant step forward for Idaho State College of Technology, reflecting ISU’s commitment to provide cutting-edge educational tools in line with Idaho's statewide initiative for technical education advancement.


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