Wednesday, October 12, 2011

New EMS Manikin is High-Tech and Realistic

The 32-year-old man is pulled from the swimming pool. He’s conscious and yet unable to move. The only sign of injury is an abrasion on the head. Now the Vol State Emergency Medical Services (EMS) faculty members get their turn and the newly purchased patient simulation manikin playing this role will give them workout. The intensive two-day training will get the EMS instructors familiar with this latest piece of technology. The Laredal simulator is more than just a standard manikin, he seems unnervingly human. He coughs, sweats and breathes. His pupils dilate, and the eyes open and close. He can simulate a cardiac arrest, collapsed lung and many other critical possibilities. He even reacts to drug cards flashed next to his IV line. If you don’t get the dosage right- watch out!

Vol State students will have the opportunity to test their skills on the new manikin later this semester. First, the Vol State EMS faculty members need to get their practice. While they’re on the front lines for this training, in the future they will be behind a laptop hooked up to the manikin. It will allow them to monitor how students react and change the nature of the simulation to provide a life-like set of circumstances. The goal is to run through a scenario in real-time, giving the students valuable training in a number of different situations. The Vol State folks trained with Flight Nurses from Vanderbilt University Medical Center LifeFlight. They plan to use the manikin for the training of rural nurses, paramedics, and physicians across Middle Tennessee.

Each generation of simulator manikins comes with new technology and features, designed for realism. The new Laredal manikins purchased by Vol State include two adult versions and one pediatric. Just remember: don’t call the manikin a dummy. It’s packed with enough technology to earn it a bit of respect.

Volunteer State Community College, paramedic, EMT

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