Why is there a need for Medical Manikin as training aids for respiratory swab collection in Singapore?
As Singapore reached the record-breaking amount of the highest per capita COVID-19 infection rate in Asia with 34,800 positive cases, the government initiated a mass testing of 323,000 foreign workers to curb the rising infections. By doing so, the daily testing capacity will need to ramp up from 8,000 currently to 40,000. Hence, there is a growing and urgent need to train more swabbers to support and increase swab testing efforts in these unprecedented times.
Swab tests are an integral part of the fight against COVID-19 as it determines whether a person is infected. Typically, it involves the insertion of a swab through the nasal cavity or mouth to the back of the nose and throat, and swabbing the walls by gently rotating the swab to collect specimens.
With an increase in demand for the respiratory swab testing, selected civilians who often do not possess medical knowledge were hired to perform the procedures. Although training sessions for respiratory swab collection are conducted by healthcare professionals, there are many challenges in said process. Step-by-step training videos are widely used, but not effective as they lack the hands-on experience. Training with a medical manikin is the best option but existing ones in the market lack representative features to facilitate the execution of three essential procedures: nasal mid-turbinate swab, nasopharyngeal swab, and oropharyngeal swab.
In short, the medical manikin needs to have all the relevant anatomical features to support the execution of the three swabbing procedures, but also replicating the realistic texture and appearance of the human soft and hard tissue. The combination of all these elements allows the learners to practice and simulate the procedures under very realistic conditions.