Equipment Issues

Picture of Shannon Pranger
Changing skin color
by Shannon Pranger - Tuesday, March 21, 2017, 6:43 PM

Crazy question of the day... I just took a new job to start up a simulation center at our state university. The manikins were purchased before I got there and for whatever reason, ALL of them are Caucasian. I mean every manikin the school owns from baby on up. This certainly doesn't reflect our student or patient population. We can't buy any more manikins so I need a creative solution. Anyone ever run into this before? Should I try replacing the head/chest/arm skins with skins of color? This is really bugging me so I would love a solution from the group! Thanks.

Picture of drew Molitar
Re: Changing skin color
by drew Molitar - Tuesday, March 21, 2017, 9:11 PM

I cannot believe that I have just read what I did. What a colossal slap in the face to your students to assume that at this stage in their studies that they cannot use the tools they are given to learn the skills to save the lives of whoever they are treating. By your remarks we should assume that you are ready to have only whites treat whites, black treat blacks, browns treat browns and yellows treat yellows. If you are so narrow minded that you have a problem with this arrangment then you need to rethink the position you are in and look for another position that allows you to be only in contact with people that are to your liking. 

Picture of Shannon Pranger
Re: Changing skin color
by Shannon Pranger - Wednesday, March 22, 2017, 7:02 AM

I'm afraid I don't understand your reply nor the hostility in which it was written. I am an educator in a very racially and culturally diverse setting and it is, in fact, much more "narrow minded" to have my students see only caucasian patients as the norm. In fact, for my entire career I have cared for others who are very different from me and expect my students to learn to do the same. In an effort to embrace diversity and cultural sensitivity, I posted my question in good faith to other professionals whom I thought could assist me with creative ideas. I am frankly shocked at your reply.

Maria Whyte
Re: Changing skin color
by Maria Whyte - Wednesday, March 22, 2017, 3:03 PM

I would consider looking a cultural competency in other ways.  Hijab, scarves, earrings, tattoos and clothing to look at other populations in your community.  Immigration, poverty, homelessness, religion could be looked at in your scenarios.  It actually made me think, am I expecting the students to get it when, the client in the bed is actually brown, and the chart lists them as latino. Am i going through too many steps to move mannequins around, to be the "Right Color".  I have the luxury of having the color spectrum from Gaumard in my lab.   
As brought this up to my TA today, she immediately thought about the Obesity suits. Could you try decent quality dark nylons?  
Have a great day and keep me up to date on your resolution of your issue.. 

Maria Whyte, DHSc NP-C
Florida State University
College of Nursing
Phone: 850.645.0657 
FAX:   850.644.7660
Courage is the most important of all the virtues, because without courage you can't practice any other virtue consistently. You can practice any virtue erratically, but nothing consistently without courageMaya Angelou
Picture of Shannon Pranger
Re: Changing skin color
by Shannon Pranger - Wednesday, March 22, 2017, 3:10 PM

Your post actually speaks to what got me thinking in the first place. I did a simulation the other day in which the patient was African American which was an important risk factor to the scenario we were doing, but the manikin was caucasian. Even knowing the scenario, I kept forgetting to mention the risk factor bc I was looking at a caucasian manikin. Thanks for your suggestions. The nylon idea is very creative! I'm eager to hear more ideas and I'll keep you posted.

Picture of Susan Forneris
Re: Changing skin color
by Susan Forneris - Wednesday, March 22, 2017, 2:10 PM

Thank you for opening the dialogue on addressing the important topic of cultural diversity issues in simulation. One of the core values of the NLN is Diversity - not only recognizing a culture of inclusivity - but of diversity of thoughts and opinions. Embracing diversity as it relates to a culture of caring with learners who will experience this as professional nurses is extremely important. Fidelity in simulation is vital.  Manufacturers of manikins/manikin accessories, such as Laerdal, CAE, etc. are also having this conversation as they work to assist educators in their simulation work. We do need to be open and supportive of each other as educators working through these sensitive yet extremely important conversations.  Diversity of thoughts and opinions and a culture of inclusivity needs to happen in our educational environments if we want to assist in changing the culture in the professional work place. We are here to support our learners who will be impacting future patient care outcomes.

Susan Gross Forneris, PhD, RN, CNE, CHSE-A | Excelsior Deputy Director | NLN Center for Innovation in Simulation and Technology| National League for Nursing | | | 202-909-2500 | Fax: 202-944-8523 | The Watergate | 2600 Virginia Avenue NW | Washington DC 20037

Picture of Diana Breed
Re: Changing skin color
by Diana Breed - Wednesday, April 5, 2017, 6:13 PM

Hi Shannon --- I agree it is nicer to have different diversity, but to be honest it is hard to move such heavy people all over.  We have addressed culture with additional props -- head bands, tattoos, religious items at the bedside etc.  Also add that to report --- this patient traveled from the reservation and denies transportation for discharge...

  We also consider it as one of the debriefing questions --- "How would you adjust your nursing interventions if the patient was Muslim, Native American, Hispanic....

Hope that helps --- thanks for an interesting topic..