This month Des Moines University became the first institution in the state of Iowa to acquire and integrate Lifecast Body Simulation products into its medical education programs. The medical simulator mannequins by Lifecast will be utilized across its clinical programs of osteopathic medicine, podiatric medicine and surgery, physical therapy and physician assistant studies to replicate life-like conditions that must be treated by the students.
“Lifecast simulators are the most realistic and lifelike mannequins, and Des Moines University is proud to lead the state in terms of innovation,” says Alison Krueger, MSN-Ed., R.N., manager of the University’s Iowa Simulation Center.
Echo Healthcare is the licensor, manufacturer and distributor of Lifecast Body Simulation Products in North America. More than 30 years of creating mannequins for films and movies (including Oscar-winning work on films such as “Gladiator” and “Saving Private Ryan”) have been combined with the latest medical technology to create the most lifelike training tools available for today’s medical learners.
“We are very proud to partner with Des Moines University, and I am personally thrilled to see the technology integrated into the curriculum at the school,” says Kevin King, CEO of Echo Healthcare. “We look forward to seeing how Des Moines University integrates the technology into their curriculum.”
DMU has used medical mannequins in clinical education for 12 years. With the high-fidelity technology of the University’s previously acquired models, students can listen to their hearts, lungs and intestines; take their pulses and blood pressure; and administer fluids and other treatment. These mannequin’s chests rise and fall, their eyes blink and dilate, and they “talk” with the students via a microphone operated by a Simulation Center staff member or faculty member in a separate room who observes the students through a one-way mirror.
With the new static Lifecast Body Simulation mannequins, students will use programmed stethoscopes to listen to bodily functions. However, the mannequins’ more lifelike appearance and skin texture is expected to enhance students’ perceptions they’re treating “real patients.”
“Suspension of disbelief is crucial to successful simulation. Students must believe they are treating a real person in order to perform like they would in an actual clinical setting,” Krueger says.
In addition, the Lifecast models are available in different ethnicities and skin tones, better preparing students to provide care to an increasingly diverse patient population.
“The Lifecast lifelike mannequins are yet another way DMU is emphasizing and addressing the increased need for culturally inclusive health care,” says Rich Salas, Ph.D., the University’s chief diversity officer and assistant professor in the department of behavioral medicine, medical humanities and bioethics. “Through simulation trainings and additional cultural competency/humility trainings we provide our students, they will also better understand additional aspects of identity and cultural diversity that go beyond skin color.”
About Des Moines University
Founded in 1898, Des Moines University comprises three colleges offering eight graduate degree programs in osteopathic medicine, podiatric medicine, physical therapy, physician assistant studies, anatomy, biomedical sciences, health care administration and public health.
About Lifecast Body Simulation
Lifecast Body Simulation Ltd. manufactures a highly accurate and lifelike range of bodies designed in the United Kingdom and manufactured by Echo Healthcare. The mannequins include three-dimensional scanned head and “lifecast” head and bodies of real people. They are available as pediatric and adult mannequins of both genders and different ethnicities. Production and manufacturing techniques include a hand-sculptured finish both externally and of the upper and lower airways. This ensures authenticity and anatomical accuracy. For more information, visit www.echosimulation.com.