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Queen’s University First to Use Life-Like Pregnant Mannequins to Train Midwives

Queen’s University Belfast will be the first University in the UK to use a new birthing simulator to train midwives through the pregnancy process from scan to birth.

Sono sim, midwifery, training, simulation

The birthing simulator, known as Sono Sim, presents like a real pregnant mother complete with internal organs. The simulator or mannequin can be linked to a scanner that is programmed with a choice of hundreds of scans representing scenarios that a pregnant mother and her baby may face from early stages of pregnancy through to birth.

Queen’s is the first University in the UK to offer this latest technology, manufactured by Laerdal, to trainee midwives. Professor Donna Fitzsimons, Head of the School of Nursing and Midwifery said: “Queen’s has been leading the way for over 10 years in the development of Human Patient Simulation within healthcare. We are delighted to be the first University in the UK to introduce the new Sono Sim simulator, which will revolutionise the education of our midwifery students.”

Students will be presented with a number of real-life scenarios. The mannequin will be linked to a scanner, enabling students to date the birth in the early stages of pregnancy right through to detecting a number of foetal abnormalities at the 20 weeks scan. The mannequin will also mimic the birthing process, presenting a number of labour-related scenarios that midwives may deal with such as a postpartum haemorrhage before a mannequin baby is presented.

Professor Fitzsimons added: “Until now, trainee midwives would learn about pregnancy scans through shadowing an experienced midwife in a hospital. This equipment will better prepare our students for this experience and facilitate assessment through a one-way mirror in our state-of-the-art birthing suites. This real-life environment complete with a human-like mannequin that can laugh, cry and bleed creates a cutting-edge learning experience.

“Midwives will be assessed on how they deal with a number of scenarios that they will likely face throughout their career. This is the closest we can get to a real-life scenario, putting the students to the test in a safe environment and optimising their preparation for the real world.”


Media enquiries to Suzanne Lagan or 028 9097 5292