23 July 2007

Simulated Childbirth--Quite Painless, Really

Medical and surgical simulators are becoming an indispensable part of the education process for physicians and nurses. Now birthing simulators are good enough to become an important part of a medical students' and midwife's curriculum.
"It gives us the opportunity to learn and practice but do no harm," said Dr. Kay Daniels, a clinical associate professor who trains students at Stanford University.

Interactive simulation robots first became popular in the 1990s after scientists developed them for anesthesiologists in training. They've since been designed for various types of medical training and even for veterinary students, who work on dog mannequins.

Unlike commercially available birth simulators, this one has a pelvis that mimics soft tissue which allows for better training in matters of maternal manipulation.

The fetal model is equipped with bioengineering instrumentation that allows measurement of the effect of clinician-applied force on the fetus. The nylon-lycra glove has pockets sewn into it to house force-sensors, which measure the traction in delivery. Wires emanating from the sensors are connected to a computer-based data-acquisition system that stores and then processes the data on a laptop.

From an earlier story.

High quality simulators and virtual reality training scenarios make it more likely that the University of Phoenix or another clever educational entrepreneur will soon offer credible medical training online, including all pre-clinical and quasi-clinical content.

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