Douglas says that one of the biggest challenges for the team of St John was how to physically shift simulartion technology around the countryside. "We were faced with the challenge of having thousands of staff spread across the whole country. We needed to get to them, not only for courses that we needed to run, but also on a regular basis for skill maintenance training. Our experience had shown us that having a mobile bus arrangement was difficult in terms of staffing -so we went for a modest plan, which involved buying Resusci Anne Simulator manikins so we could have a big impact on a lot of places quickly", he said.
In the space of just a few years wireless simulation technology has become an integral part of clinical training at St John. In fact, simulation technologies are now used to prepare students for all types of medical and trauma scenarios: "We trap them in real cars, or hotel bedrooms, and put them in any manner of situations. We dress them up and apply moulage to create a range of ‘real life’ situations and injuries," says Douglas.
A great benefit of this technology is that it enables organisations like St John to play out tightly controlled scenarios that students may otherwise not have access to. This is a real advantage over clinical placements where a student may undertake 400 hours of training and not get the same opportunities as the student before them.
Douglas reports that simulation technology is also ideal for creating a situation where just two students are able to attend to a manikin, while a teacher oversees the process and listens in from a different room or setting. "We needed to create a scenario where our students could go into a situation where it’s just them and the manikin – and that’s what we’re able to achieve around the country at each of our 190 stations", he said.