Simulation in Motion-Iowa brings mobile unit to reinforce, enhance EMS skills

[City of Muscatine/Submitted]

Muscatine Fire Department staff took advantage of a unique opportunity over the course of the last three days, thanks to a unique program offered by the University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics.

Simulation In Motion-Iowa is a unique program designed to provide simulated clinical opportunities with state-of-the-art equipment and highly trained staff enhancing the education of Emergency Medical Services (EMS) personnel.

“This is the first time that Muscatine Fire has ever used this training opportunity, Lt. Andrew McSorley, Critical Care Paramedic with Muscatine Fire, said. “This is very solid training and, from everyone’s responses, we will be doing ore of this in the future.”

The mobile simulation labs contain two areas that resemble the inside of an ambulance separated by a control room. Each of the two “ambulances” have a different medical training scenario for EMS personnel to experience.

The instructors are located in a control room that separates the two “ambulances” where they control the state-of-the-art manikins used in the training scenarios. Each manikin mimics a real individual in that they can talk, blink, breathe, have pulses, can bleed, vomit, or sweat, and just about anything else a real victim might be going through.

In one ambulance was an individual who had fallen 18 feet to the ground from a tree stand with a large stick penetrating one leg. In the other ambulance was a juvenile who was very sick.

Working in teams of two, the Muscatine Fire Department members were presented a scenario for each victim and then were evaluated on how they assessed and treated the victim. The instructor, acting as the victim, would interact with the MFD staff members as they proceeded with the assessment and treatment.

“We ran the entire department through various scenarios to work on skills that you may not get to do very often,” Lt. McSorley said.

After each scenario the instructors break down the session with the EMS personnel, going over what worked, what could have been done better, and what was learned.

“This is a realistic EMS training mobile unit that is 100 percent cost free to any EMS service upon request,” Lt. McSorley said.

According to the Simulation in Motion-Iowa website, SIM-IA focuses on providing high, mid, and low fidelity simulation experiences to healthcare providers across the State of Iowa. While clinical simulations can be found in many formal education programs for students, simulation resources are often not readily accessible for certified and licensed providers.

Providing clinical simulations for healthcare professionals beyond their initial education provides opportunities to:

  • promote active and engaged learning of new procedures, equipment, and skills
  • experience clinical situations that may occur less frequently, especially in rural areas
  • practice essential teamwork and communication skills
  • discover procedural, resource, or access challenges before impacting patient care
  • ensure the highest quality care and evidence-based practice across the state

SIM-IA’s mobile program brings clinical simulations to the healthcare providers, in their clinical settings, rather than requiring travel to distant simulation centers. This unique feature allows more health care professionals to train together without disrupting staffing, patient care, and reduces both education and travel expenses.