Houston-Area Nurse From Texas Children's Leads Team To Award

Designing a training device that will also benefit nursing schools in Africa.

By Ile-Ife Okantah February 23, 2022

A Houston-area nurse created a device that trains nursing students in procedures using needles and IV’s.

A team of Texas nurses has been awarded for innovation that will benefit nursing students in Houston and Africa. Nurses with Texas Children’s Hospital (Michael Pickett, Jaime Choate and Jeannie Eggers) and Baylor College of Medicine  (Marilyn Hocken and Tadala Mulemba) received a $50,000 award for creating RediStik, training devices which help nurses practice inserting catheters and performing intravenous therapy.

The acknowledgement was part of the 2022 American Nurses Association Innovation Award announced this month. This year, the award focused on projects that addressed the gaps in education that existed when training nurses in how to do things like draw blood. The winning innovation helps create a simulation where someone acting as a patient can place the RediStik apparatus over their arms or chest. Nurses-in-training are then able to simulate the process of inserting needles into a patient's veins. The simulators also provide educational videos and live real-time feedback from instructors.

It took three years to develop Redi Stick. The wearable simulator helps nursing students develop more quickly the skills to do complicated procedures using needles and IV’s. The training product, initially invented by Pickett, who accepted the award at a recent ceremony, resembles parts of a CPR dummy.

Michael T. Pickett, a pediatric nurse practitioner at Texas Children's Hospital helped create the RediStik simulator.

“With these training tools the instructors really love them, it’s challenging,” Pickett says in a video following the award ceremony, and shared by the ANA. He says the invention allows nurses to progress through more difficult training scenarios with the devices. Nurses in Houston have been using the simulators, and Pickett says studies of the device’s effectiveness show it increased student confidence faster than previous training methods. 

Part of the prize money the nurses won for working on the invention will place the devices in the training center at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston. The money will also go toward expanding the devices globally. Through the Global HOPE program the devices will be shipped to nursing schools in sub-Saharan Africa, which Pickett is also excited about. 

Nurses on the winning team, Hockenberry and Mulemba, also serve as director and assistant director, respectively, of Global HOPE Nursing, a collaboration between Texas Children’s Hospital and Baylor College of Medicine that assists with improving the diagnosis and treatment of children with cancer and blood disorders in sub-Saharan Africa. In the video, Pickett says he’s excited about the global expansion, “This is really a big deal to me.” 


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