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Bridging the Gap in Bariatric Patient Healthcare Training

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The R42 Bariatric Nursing Manikin Journey

By Jake Rahman, Founder of the Simulation Collective

Allow me to share a story close to my heart, one that revolves around empathy, innovation, and respect for all patients. It all began with an unexpected conversation with our friends at Aston University, a conversation that sparked a profound realisation.

An Absence Of Representation

In healthcare training, we discovered a troubling gap – an absence of representation for bariatric patients. The majority of nursing and medical universities use manikins that are, for lack of a better word, petite. These manikins don’t reflect the diversity of the Western population, often leaving a significant portion of patients without adequate representation.

R42 – A Name of Significance

This gap wasn’t something we could ignore. It called for a solution, and so, the journey of R42 began. Its name carries significance; the “R” stands for “Realistic” and “Representative,” while the “42” represents the 42% of our American counterparts grappling with obesity, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases 2 in 5 adults (42.4) have obesity. R42 isn’t just a name; it’s a solemn promise to enhance healthcare training.

A Collaboration That Brings Diversity

We’re immensely proud of our partnership with Rib Productions which comes with the resourcefulness and inventiveness of Rib’s owner Isaac Franklin. Together it seems that we have everything that is needed to solve training issues in healthcare education. This collaboration brings much-needed diversity which is a core principle of the Simulation Collective, underscoring our commitment to a more inclusive approach to healthcare education.

But why is this so important? Healthcare is a tapestry of unique stories and patients, and every healthcare professional must be prepared to navigate the uniqueness and the complications of each case. R42 was born from the belief that every patient, regardless of size or condition, deserves the best care.

Our motivation for innovations like the R42 Bariatric Nursing Manikin stems from the invaluable training the NHS, and in particular, Southampton University Hospitals, provided me as an Operating Department Practitioner years ago. That training instilled a passion for healthcare and a profound respect for patients.

So, here’s to the R42 Bariatric Manikin, to patient safety, and to an inclusive healthcare education that respects and embraces the diversity of patients. May our journey continue, guided by the principles of empathy, respect, and a commitment to bridging the gaps in healthcare training. Cheers, and may we carry forward this torch of progress with compassion and understanding.