It’s not often that respiratory therapists at Johnston Health get called to intubate premature babies. But when they do, clinical coordinator Tonya Murphy wants every respiratory therapist in her department to feel comfortable doing so.
Toward that end, they’re getting in some valuable practice, thanks to Ann, a premature baby manikin. To enhance the learning experience, her teaching kit comes with bottles of goo and fake blood to simulate birth.
The manikin is among the teaching tools, equipment and consumables that Johnston Health Volunteers bought last year with proceeds from the hospital gift shops. Between both campuses, they funded more than $48,000 worth of requests from departments.
“We love the volunteers,” says Shelby Holt, director of cardiovascular and pulmonology services. “It’s so helpful to have them and the gift shops as resources.”
Ann has other capabilities, too, Murphy says. Nurses can practice starting IVs, and providers can practice inserting umbilical catheters. While the hospital has other baby manikins, none are as tiny or lifelike as Ann, who is 25 weeks.
The respiratory therapists also use Ann to demonstrate their competencies on skills day. All are certified in neonatal resuscitation; one is an NRP instructor. While they can complete their coursework online, they must demonstrate their skills in order to recertify every two years.
Gale Cass, president of the volunteers, says it’s rewarding to see the gift shop proceeds benefit patients. She regularly sees patients headed to procedures, for example, who are wrapped in blankets heated in blanket-warming cabinets, which was a previous gift the Volunteers purchased.
So next time you visit the hospital, take a stop at the gift shop. You’re purchases go towards making us a better hospital and provide ways for us to give back to those in our community.
Pictured: Thanks to proceeds from the Volunteer Gift Shops, respiratory therapists are now able to practice and hone their skills on the tiniest of patients. At left and right, Tonya Murphy, clinical coordinator for respiratory therapy, and Lakreisha Davis, respiratory therapist, try out a new premature manikin named Ann. It’s one of the many items requested and purchased last year for departments.