The U.S Census Bureau released interesting statistics in September of 2011. The figures in the report detailed state by state findings and compared them to national averages during that same year. Sadly, the national averages were brought down by the states that have extensive poverty.
According to the Census Bureau’s Press Release dated September 13, 2011, “The poverty rate in 2010 was the highest since 1993…Since 2007, the poverty rate has increased by 2.6 percentage points…In 2010 the number of families in poverty were 9.2 million…up from 8.8 million in 2009.” What does this have to do with healthcare training and simulation? The answer is simple. Where there is poverty, there is more of a need for trained healthcare professionals.
Think about the fact that the same report cited above stated, “The uninsured rate for children in poverty (15.4 percent) was greater than the rate for all children. (9.8 percent).”
Impoverished families without healthcare, rarely see doctors. When they do, it is usually an emergency. Expectant mothers fall into the same category. The prenatal care that they receive is virtually non-existent.
How can these people be helped? The answer is to make simulation training more available. Simulation training is less expensive and can give hands on experience to people who have little or no medical experience.
Our previous post detailed how rudimentary obstetric simulation was used centuries ago with the goal of saving lives during childbirth. Yes. Even that long ago, simulation was considered to be an invaluable tool. By utilizing even unsophisticated obstetric simulation to train midwives in poor rural areas of France, the population began see an increase.
The same holds true today. We can and we must help the people in our own country. We must spread the word that simulation has tremendous value in healthcare training. In case you are wondering how relevant this is to your life, think about a life saved. What if it were your own life or the life of one of your loved ones?
BUREAU, U. C. (2011). Income, Poverty and Health Insurance Coverage in the Unied States: 2010. Washingon D.C.