Hospitals and medical facilities from around the world are buying into one of the newest pieces of medical technology: The lifelike mannequin. These sophisticated machines can do it all -- bleed, blink, give birth, have heart and anxiety attacks and experience a seemingly endless amount of other maladies. More and more medical facilities are purchasing these mannequins, but should they be?
Trainers need to keep in mind their audience when making a purchase of that magnitude. They need to be careful and not use an expensive and in-depth piece of technology to teach rudimentary skills. Why purchase a breathing, bleeding training dummy just to teach the student how to find a pulse?
That would be akin to spending the money to build an entire race track, only to teach the driver how to turn the car on.
There is, of course, a market for such an expensive piece of technology. Certified doctors, future doctors in residency and advanced medical students will have the previous knowledge and skills to fully utilize the dummys. They will be able to use all aspects of the technology and learn to save a life in a controlled, safe environment.
However, the technology might be lost on someone with a lesser skill set. Why spend the money when you don’t have to? The desire to have the latest and greatest technology available doesn’t translate to requiring that technology.
Before making a big purchase to secure the rights to the latest technological wonder, medical training facilities need to assess their own programs first. If the advancements are ultimately going to be lost on their students, it may be worth purchasing multiple lower-level models first. Then, once the students are advanced enough, it would be worth splurging on the best that money can buy.