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US Veterans Affairs announces the acquisition of a bizarre silicone "Monkeypox training manikin," complete with a fake pustule that can be filled with fluid to simulate an oozing sore
It always pays to check in on the strangely still-unfolding monkeypox circus now and again.
From VA News (emphasis mine throughout):
Caregivers at VA … thanks to the prescient thinking of the Tampa VA Advanced Simulation Center and the VA Tampa Healthcare System’s infection control and disaster emergency management program … created a first-of-its-kind Monkeypox manikin to train staff on recognizing and treating the disease.
Working alongside Echo Healthcare, who handcraft each manikin to order, the team developed the very first manikin that portrays a patient afflicted with Mpox. From the hair to the eyes, hands, fingernails and toenails, this first of its kind, high-fidelity manikin represents what is possible when VA and private industry come together to prepare for public health emergencies.
Of course, it is the product of public-private partnership. That explains so much.
The silicone construction of the manikin gives it a more lifelike feel when compared to the standard hard plastic simulators, delivering training that is far closer to real life. Not only are the manikin’s features lifelike, its silicone body sculpture mimics muscle tone. The fine details come down to the specific symptoms of Mpox, with various stages of the Mpox pustules, or small bumps, that contain fluid or puss so that staff could identify the stages that the lesions were in. One pustule allows the simulation facilitator to fill it with a purulent fluid to truly express what the stage of pustule looks like before and after expelling the drainage.
I distantly remember, from my childhood, toy dolls marketed to girls that would simulate hair growth. This is like that, except for monkeypox pustules.
The manikin’s functionality also extends beyond physical reactions. Part of the monkeypox training and simulation curriculum incorporates how psychological support is needed from the health care staff. The manikin shows how a person may feel embarrassed or ashamed with the various lesions on their body. The social isolation factor was also discussed along with ways to provide social support to any patient who may encounter the disease.
This is just so stupid. The manikin, as pictured, plainly does not exhibit any feelings of embarrassment or shame. It merely looks dead and creepy. The VA press release, though, assures us that it was such a hit with their Tampa staff, that some nurses signed up for repeated sessions (fondling a monkeypox manikin is better than working, I imagine), and also that 98% those who completed the training said they preferred this approach to working with a “high-fidelity simulator.”
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