Otterbein Nursing Department Gives Hands-on Training to Delegation of Nurse Educators from Honduras

Posted May 15, 2019

A small university in Westerville is making a big impact in Honduras, where poverty and violence are rampant, healthcare providers work with minimal equipment and supplies, and educational programs lack technology to train nurses. Things are only getting worse as aid from the United States has ceased.

In the face of those challenges, three organizations have come together to improve nursing education in Honduras. A delegation of four Honduran nurse educators from three universities will receive hands-on simulation training at Otterbein from Friday through Sunday, May 17-19, thanks to the support of the Central American Medical Outreach (CAMO) and equipment created by edgeThingZ.

Training nurses for real-life scenarios using simulation equipment is key to saving lives. The nurses will take what they learn back to their communities in Honduras and educate their peers. They will also take gifts of cutting-edge, low-cost technology with them.

CAMO was founded in Orrville, OH, in 1993 by Executive Director Kathy Tschiegg. The organization has a headquarters in Santa Rosa, Honduras, a city that is home to five universities. Services provided or supported by CAMO include a domestic violence shelter, a community gym, a trade school, a daycare center, a cultural center, literacy programs, medical programs and research, and a public health center. Otterbein President Emeritus Brent DeVore sits on the board of CAMO.

CAMO develops training protocols, raises money for nursing education equipment, and connects American nurses with their Honduran counterparts to improve education and services for the country’s poor. Otterbein’s nurses, for their part, are exposed to new cultures and have the opportunity to improve the lives of those beyond their reach.

Jeff Becker, chief maker at edgeThingZ, is partnering with CAMO to provide a low-cost classroom technology edgeThingZ developed in partnership with Otterbein’s Nursing Department. The Healthcare Education Simulation Station (HESS), offers an alternative approach to high cost nursing simulation equipment to benefit nursing education and nursing outcomes globally. This alternative approach enables simulation training to be conducted at a price that Honduran nursing education programs can afford. A single high-tech manikin can cost $100,000, and a full simulation center can cost more than $1 million. The HESS system costs $49 per month.

Becker fondly calls the technology the “Otterbein Innovation,” and it is already being used by nursing education programs at The Ohio State University, Kent State University, Wittenberg University, Marion Technical College, Mercy Health and others. edgeThingZ has created a program to donate HESS systems to CAMO.