“What we do to develop the simulation training is quite unique here in Scandinavia,” says Specialised Nurse and Operational Coordinator at the Army Medical Service Course Centre (FSAN), Lotta Lyden. To bring a greater sense of reality into the practical training, a new concept has been developed inside the surgery building. “We started running full-scale simulation training here in September 2008. Here, we can build mock-up trenches and apply requisites likes smoke, light, heat, and odours. The manikins are painted and made up to resemble patients with real injuries,” continues Lyden.

 

Preparing for simulation

Before participants enter the simulation room, they receive some general information about the incident that has taken place, but no pertaining details are revealed. This way the soldiers have merely an idea what to expect at the other side of the door. Instructors always supervise the simulations. by paying close attention to the soldiers’ performance, they are able to provide support and guidance along the way. When instructors think it will enhance learning outcomes, they will make the scenarios even more challenging on the fly. “Effective simulation training relies on the instructor’s competence, his/her experience, and ability to develop scenarios. Each simulation scenario is tailored to the various group categories we train. We need to consider whether the participants are ambulance personnel, whether they have participated in out-of-country operations, or perhaps been engaged in special assignments,” explains the Coordinator.

 

Flexibility

FSAN uses the ALS (Advanced Life Support) simulator and the SimMan manikin for the training. “It’s great that FSAN has been investing resources into the medical training here at Sessvollmoen. Now, we can bring out the manikin to maintain what we have learned and teach others as well,” says course participant and Lieutenant Hanne Gjøs, Platoon Leader for the Army Medical Service HMKG. “When you get to know the menu, it’s amazing to see all the different options you have with a manikin like this.“

 

The manikin responds

“The main difference between training with live people and training with manikins is that with the manikins you can perform actual procedures; like inserting thorax tubes, perform decompression and intubation. You can palpate the manikin’s pulse and observe chest rise during respiration. The instructors ensure that vitals appearing on the monitor correspond to the concurrent treatment provided by the trainees. This arrangement helps the trainees evaluate and re-evaluate the ‘patient’s’ clinical condition and learn to respond in a safe and efficient manner,” explains Lyden.

 

Looking ahead

“It is important to look ahead. Today’s young people use information and communication technology in whole new and different ways than just a decade ago. Our challenge is to keep up so that we can meet the future with timely educational methods,” concludes Coordinator Lotta Lyden.