Nursing Department Adds “Kid Kasey,” “Baby Micah”

Maranatha nursing students may be surprised this fall to meet a small family living in the Dining Complex’s bottom floor.

Pediatric and infant simulators affectionately nicknamed “Kid Kasey” and “Baby Micah” have joined adult medical simulator “Hal” in the Nursing Department’s educational family. The newest medical mannequins arrived in mid-May. “Hal,” in his mock hospital room in DC 119, has been a useful learning tool for nursing students since 2009.

“Babies and kids aren’t little adults; they have health problems unique to them,” Nursing Department Clinical Instructor Courtney Winslow said. “This will help give our students a more realistic experience in caring for those problems, and it will also help them to know better if pediatrics is an area of nursing they may be interested in.”

The simulators’ realistic reactions and remote monitoring functions will allow the students to practice changing surgical dressing changes, giving injections, installing feeding tubes, managing the airway, and treating pneumonia, asthma, and other respiratory problems.

Nursing Associate Professor Katharine Holley said it is difficult for students to encounter such a wide variety of problems during area hospital clinical experiences. Most hospital pediatric wards are sparsely populated, the more serious cases having been sent to children’s hospitals in Milwaukee and Madison.

“These simulators offer us the opportunity to put them into more critically urgent medical situations,” Holley said. “We are able to supplement their education, to fill in the gaps for what they don’t see in clinicals.”

Kid Kasey, designed to resemble a 6-year-old, and Baby Micah, a 6-month-old, were purchased for only about half of Hal’s cost. The nicknames were chosen by the Nursing Department faculty specifically to be gender-neutral—both mannequins can be utilized for male and female patient scenarios.

“The students will also go through some experiences unique to caring for children, like dealing with parents who are angry or frustrated,” said Winslow, who plans to enlist the help of adults to act out those roles. “What they learn from working with these simulators is going to be very hands-on and very true-to-life.”