KU School of Medicine–Wichita
1010 N. Kansas
Wichita, KS, 67214
April 18, 2019
Fifth-grade students from Park Elementary School gather around a high-tech manikin in the Simulation Center at KU School of Medicine-Wichita.
By Darcy Gray
Several fifth-graders gathered around the high-tech manikin in a hospital bed, and a few slowly reached out to touch his rubber hand.
The manikin's eyes blinked, his chest rose up and down, and vital signs were displayed on nearby monitors in the Simulation Center at KU School of Medicine-Wichita. When the manikin spoke and said "hello," some of the fifth-graders from Park Elementary School in Wichita gasped.
Similar to medical students in training, the elementary students were encouraged to ask the "Sim Man" questions to find out why he needed medical attention.
"How old are you?" one student asked.
"What is your disease?" asked another. "What hurts?"
It's a common scenario in the Simulation Center, where medical students in Wichita get hands-on training, work together as a team, and gain confidence in preparation for a lifetime of service.
KU School of Medicine-Wichita partners with Park Elementary School - a partnership now in its 21st year - and welcomes the students for a variety of activities during the year, but this week was the first time the students had experienced the Simulation Center.
The center, which welcomes outside groups, has high-tech manikins and also CPR training opportunities. This week, Park Elementary students got to practice CPR, as they split up in pairs to do compressions on several lifelike torsos.
Erin Doyle, program director of the Simulation Center, introduced the students to "Sim Man," while Mary Koehn, education associate professor, and coordinator Jeanne Raitt, walked students through the basics of CPR.
"Our students had a wonderful time visiting KU School of Medicine-Wichita," said Abigail Funk, fifth-grade teacher at Park Elementary. "Though timid at first, they most frequently commented on how much they loved learning to do the chest compressions - it's a great skill for them to know, as so many help watch younger siblings."