The Wake County EMS System is launching a unique training program this month for paramedics and EMTs that tests and emphasizes a variety of skills and abilities while in a setting that’s far more realistic than a simple class room. Wake EMS Professional Development staff have outfitted an ambulance with a “simulation manikin system” which EMS crews can use to drill on a myriad of complex emergency medical treatment scenarios.
“Modern simulation technology allows paramedics to assess and interact with sophisticated training manikins. Changes in patient condition a variety of information, like vital signs, lung sounds and heart rhythms, are facilitated by a hidden training specialist using computers connected to the manikin,” says Joseph Zalkin, Deputy Director, Professional Development and Preparedness.
“It’s important for us to develop methods like this. Number one, the training and testing occurs in the paramedics’ actual work environment, the back of an ambulance. Second, it allows us to work all of our paramedics through less common, but very complex medical scenarios and protocols. This system allows us to create as realistic an environment as we can to develop skills.”
The new system is a creative and efficient use of existing equipment and resources. The simulation manikin and computer system was integrated into an older ambulance that was scheduled for replacement. The “Simbulance” will travel to several points in Wake County to provide training and skills enhancement to on-duty EMS personnel.
After positive field tests last week, the Simbulance will hit the road during the last week of February to meet up with EMS crews across the Wake County EMS System.