Product Applications from the Field: Realistic Manikins Yield Practical Results

Practice makes perfect. And the more realistic your practice environment is, the better your skills as an EMS provider will be.

However, it’s impractical to brush up on your CPR skills on a real person. So the more life-like a training manikin is, the better.

Cindy Tait, president of the Center for Healthcare Education in Riverside, CA, found the perfect blend of realism and practicality in the Prestan Professional Adult CPR-AED Training Manikin. About 15 months ago Tait was looking to replace the center’s supply of training manikins, which were getting old and requiring repairs, when she hit on the Prestan manikins. She liked what she saw so much she bought 75 of them.

“They’re very effective because the students actually see whether they’re doing it right,” Tait says. “In the past they’ve always kind of thought maybe the instructor was picking on them. Now they see the instructor is not. If they’re not getting those two green (LED indicator) lights, then they to either need to get deeper with their compressions or faster with their compressions.”

In addition to giving students helpful real-time feedback on their performance, the Prestan manikins are easy on the instructors, too, explains Tait.

“They’re lightweight,” Tait says. “We essentially have retired firefighters and nurses (as instructors)—some of them have bad backs and one of my favorite instructors has had two knee replacements. That was a big issue; I started worrying our old manikins were going to cause further injury when our instructors hauled those things, because they’re loading them in and out of cars and up and down stairs.”

That ease of use all works toward creating better prepared EMS providers, while enabling instructors to show students firsthand how they can improve their skills.