Salem Nursing Lab Welcomes New Birthing Simulator and its Baby

To welcome its new birthing manikin and the infant it delivers, the Bachelor of Science in Nursing department held a baby shower complete with games, snacks, gifts and decorations.

What’s a baby shower without games? Donald Bean of EMSS takes a chance at a game led by Dr. Cheryl Brady, BSN professor.

While a traditional baby shower helps celebrate an approaching birth, this shower included a simulated birthing experience involving nursing faculty and students who are in the parent-child module of their coursework.

In the end, the campus welcomed a “baby boy” to its manikin family, weighing 5 lbs. 10 oz. and named Martin.

The baby’s name was selected through a random drawing of submissions from staff and faculty who purchased tickets to earn naming rights. Dr. Susan Rossi submitted the winning name and explained that the name is in honor of Lorene Martin, program coordinator of the BSN program on the Salem Campus, who helped secure funding to purchase the manikin.

Gifts received at the shower (diapers, wipes, baby snacks, baby wash, etc.) were donated to the Flash’s Food Pantry on the Salem Campus.

Watching the “birth” with anticipation.

According to Krista Hawkins, BSN lecturer on the Salem Campus, the official name of the birthing manikin is AvBirth, created by the company AvKin. The company was founded by a nurse educator interested in improving the manikin experience by making it more interactive for students.

This particular birthing manikin was purchased as part of the RAPIDS 6 grant from the Ohio Department of Higher Education at a cost of $56,000. It includes unique features that make it much more realistic than other birthing manikins on the market.

First, as Hawkins explained, this is a fully-automated, wearable simulator that is worn on the front of the body, similar to a large backpack. Various birthing positions may be achieved during a simulation, not possible using a standard manikin. 

“Mother” Jordyn Palicka holding Baby Martin, the newest addition to the BSN progam at Kent State Salem

“In addition, the manikin provides a wide variety of normal and abnormal birth scenarios such as post-partum hemorrhage and shoulder dystocia, experiences we cannot always find on the clinical floor,” she noted. “This manikin ensures that every student has the opportunity to experience the full birthing process, including difficult births, a definite advantage for our students at Kent Salem.”

Secondly, this is a wearable device and students are now able to interact with a live "mother" and coach her through the birthing experience.

“Coaching is an integral skill for a mom/baby nurse to learn in terms of therapeutic and effective  communication,” Hawkins said. “Again, this something that cannot be done using standard manikins. The ‘mother’ wearing the simulator also wears a haptic armband that vibrates to let her know when a contraction is taking place. Her actions coordinate with those of the manikin.”

Another feature included in the simulator package from AvKin, is a CTGi fetal heart monitor by iSimulate which adds yet another layer of realism so that students learn to integrate the monitor tracings into a birthing scenario.

“This is truly the full package as far as birthing simulators go,” Hawkins said. “We’re really excited to bring this innovative technology to Kent State University at Salem!”

Cutline A: BSN students currently studying parent/child nursing helped host a baby shower on the Salem Campus to showcase the new birthing simulator that included (from left) Sara Cozza, Anabel Minarik, Caitlyn Chant (holding Baby Martin), Jordyn Palicka (wearing the simulator), Caitlin Marshall and Chloe Chappell.

Cutline B: What’s a baby shower without games? Donald Bean of EMSS takes a chance at a game led by Dr. Cheryl Brady, BSN professor.

Cutline C: Watching the “birth” with anticipation.

Cutline D: “Mother” Jordyn Palicka holding Baby Martin.

POSTED: Friday, November 17, 2023 10:59 AM
Updated: Tuesday, November 28, 2023 04:55 PM