Maternal and Child Health

A SimLab in Haiti Trains Health Workers

A United Methodist Women-supported simulation lab uses life-sized mannequins to train caretakers, health workers and volunteers.

A SimLab in Haiti Trains Health Workers
Nurses train at the Sim Lab at Grace Children's Hospital.

It turns out that mannequins can do more than just model the latest fashions in store-front windows. These life-sized dolls can actually help save lives.

Realistic looking mannequins that represent ages from newborn to adult are being used to train health care workers in so-called simulation labs — SimLabs, for short. One such SimLab, developed by International Child Care and located at the Grace Children’s Hospital in Haiti, was started with the help of United Methodist Women.

The lab was launched in March 2015 when a group of Methodist clergy and lay people from the North Texas Annual Conference brought thousands of dollars worth of training mannequins to Grace Children’s Hospital. The funds to buy the mannequins were made possible through an anonymous donation by a United Methodist Women member from the First United Methodist Church in McKinney, Texas. Lake Highlands United Methodist Church in Dallas contributed as well.

The mannequins are modeled to represent infants, children and adults, and even include a pregnant woman with her newborn. “MamaNatalie” and “NeoNatalie,” as the two mannequins are called, teach health care workers about the delivery of babies in normal as well as in complex birthing situations. This kind of training is especially important in Haiti, where women and children face increased delivery risks and high maternal and child mortality rates. When health care workers and nurses train with mannequins, they can develop their communication skills, critical thinking and training in a controlled environment so they are fully prepared for real-life situations.

The lab also provides teaching opportunities beyond Grace Children’s Hospital, as other hospitals have expressed interest in using the mannequins for their own training. Already, pediatricians are holding baby care classes at the SimLab, and the mannequins are used for CPR and automated external defibrillator training for health care professionals and members from a local Heiffer International project. And since June 2017, the SimLab offers ECG training for Haitian nurses.

The SimLab is a vital tool to improve health care for women and children and to lower maternal and child mortality rates in Haiti. United Methodist Women members played a vital role in launching this important health care tool. The SimLab is just one example of how our members’ Mission Giving helps women and children around the world.

Posted or updated: 6/28/2017 12:00:00 AM

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MannequinsDid you know that United Methodist Women National Office staff member Carol Van-Gorp has her own mannequin? The nurses in Haiti, along with Ellen Palmer of International Child Care, were so excited to partner with United Methodist Women that they named the mannequin purchased with Mission Giving funds “Carol.” The “Carol” doll is working hard to improve health care for families in Haiti, and the real Carol couldn’t be more thrilled.

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