What's in a Manikin?

Manikins: the quintessential part of the CPR certification class – they allow us to practice the compressions, rescue breaths, and possibly abdominal thrusts. 

As with most things, the general consensus with manikins is that they should provide a positive user experience – easy to learn, memorable (you remember how to use it 2 years later), and gives feedback that you’re doing it correctly, whatever ‘it’ is. 

Well, the American Heart Association took that last tenant of user experience to heart and required the following:

"By January 31, 2019, the AHA will require the use of an instrumented directive feedback device or manikin in all AHA courses that teach the skills of adult CPR. Specifically, an instrumented directive feedback device or manikin is one that, at a minimum, provides audio or visual (or both) feedback on the rate and depth of compressions during CPR training."


Whoa, whoa take it down a notch, eh? But it’s true! The more (effective) feedback we get when doing something, especially something new or that we rarely do, is so helpful. And, last I checked, I haven’t had one student that reported having practiced compressions over the years between classes. 

Anyway – last year I was needing to purchase new manikins and, even though I am not an AHA instructor (Shout out to MEDIC First Aid!), it’s important to me to align our training center with the most current requirements, if not exceed them. 

Besides – as I mentioned, I love these manikins. I mean, just LOOK at them: 

After loads of research – I went with the Prestan Professional Manikins with the CPR Rate Monitor. mmhmmmmm


See? You want to love them, too. I get it. Here’s why you do:



First of all, these manikins have a rate monitor. I’m talking visual feedback about the effectiveness of every. single. compression.

If you’re too slow, it’s yellow.

Meet the lower limit? It’s green!

Meet the upper limit? TWO greens!

If you’re too fast, all of the above with a blinking yellow.

Lastly, if your hands are placed incorrectly or you’re not going to the appropriate depth (2 inches for an adult, people!), it will blink red.

This means I don’t have to scrutinize your every compression to make sure you’re doing it correctly, and you don’t have to endure my coffee breath as I’m crouched over you. 

Ew. I’m adding breath mints to my training bag, now.


Remember that old Ben Franklin adage? I know, I know.. this isn’t the most life-changing material I’m talking about here, CPR..(or is it?!).. but if you squint your eyes, his quote totally applies:

"Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I learn. Involve me and I remember."



Another huge perk of having the visual feedback wasn’t  clear to me at the time of purchase. But, as if the stars and moon aligned just so, I began teaching classes to folks who are deaf and hard-of-hearing shortly after I received my new volunteers (read: manikins). And, if you’ve ever tried to give feedback to someone who can’t hear you while they’re required to look down (away from you and the hands of your interpreter’s best efforts to communicate), then you’ll know that it’s at best amusing and we all get a good laugh when the student finally looks up, and at worst, frustrating because the student just wasted valuable time and effort doing a skill incorrectly. 

When I took the new manikins out of the bag and demonstrated the feedback system, there was a collective sense of “ooh’s and aahh’s” and other wonder-related responses from interpreters and students alike. 

These manikins provided the students with the immediate feedback a hearing student could receive from an instructor without having to look up or stop what they’re doing. The feedback system allowed the learning process to be must more fluid and effective – hooray!



Finally – these manikins are super easy to set up! You just open it up, slide the lung bag through the mouth and attach it at the ears. Boom. 

That’s really all that needs to be said. 

Oh, and the carry bag makes it super convenient to store. So there’s also that! 

Oh.. AND they come in different skin tones which is neat. 


Well, whether you are or you aren’t, schedule a class with us and you can see for yourself!