Addressing Obesity in Medical Training: Aston University’s Groundbreaking Inclusive Approach

Addressing Obesity in Medical Training: Aston University’s Groundbreaking Inclusive Approach

Training for NHS Nurses at Aston University

Trainee NHS nurses at Aston University, Birmingham, are embracing a groundbreaking approach to medical training, practicing on a ‘realistic’ obese manikin.

This innovative method aims to foster inclusivity and equip medical students with the skills needed to care for overweight patients.

Comprehensive Training Modules: CPR and Intravenous Procedures on Female Dummy

The curriculum extends beyond size considerations, with medical students also learning CPR and intravenous procedures on a female dummy.

Recognizing the challenges posed by larger patients, the training emphasizes the importance of handling and intubating with sensitivity, given the higher percentage of adipose tissues in overweight individuals.

The Creation of R42: A Unique Manikin Reflecting Reality

The creators of the manikin, known as R42, emphasize its realism, featuring a built-in skeleton and large breasts to accurately represent the body shape of overweight individuals.

The intention is to teach students how to provide dignified care for larger patients, addressing a crucial aspect of healthcare education.

Obesity Statistics in the UK: A Driving Force for Realistic Training

The latest NHS data reveals that 26% of adults in England are obese, and an additional 38% are overweight. The traditional medical training manikins are criticized as being ‘little more than beanbags,’ prompting the development of R42 to meet the growing need for more realistic and inclusive training tools.

Global Impact: Aston University’s Pioneering Initiative

While larger manikins are already used globally, Aston University claims that R42 is the first truly realistic one.

The university plans to install the first female manikin in December 2023, with a second one arriving in early 2024. Developers are also exploring options to create manikins reflecting ethnic diversity in the UK.

The Importance of Empathy and Inclusivity: Insights from Professionals

Professor Liz Moores, deputy dean of the college of health and life sciences at Aston University, emphasizes the significance of students gaining experience with overweight patients.

Jacob Rahman of Simulation Man highlights the global impact of R42, emphasizing its role in fostering empathy, inclusivity, and awareness of unconscious bias.

Addressing Rising Obesity Rates: A Global Perspective

Obesity rates have been on the rise globally, attributed to sedentary lifestyles and unhealthy diets. With waistlines increasing in children as well, the medical community recognizes the urgency of addressing the associated health risks and promoting inclusive healthcare practices.

Conclusion: R42’s Potential Impact on Medical Education Worldwide

As Aston University pioneers the use of R42 in medical education, the global reach and impact of this initiative are highlighted.

Beyond addressing physical aspects, the manikin aims to instill empathy, inclusivity, and awareness of unconscious bias, contributing to a more comprehensive and sensitive approach to patient care worldwide.

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