Mobile Medical Training Truck Stops in Havre

Picture of SIM-MT
Thursday, Aug 31, 2017

A mobile medical simulation training truck carrying high-definition manikins arrived in Havre Tuesday and left Wednesday but not before people received tours of the mobile training facility and local medical leaders met to talk about using the facility for future training.

The high-tech simulators - medical manikins - imitate human physiology and anatomy more than the traditional lifeless manikins. The manikins are high fidelity computerized training tools that talk, breath, have heartbeats, and can react to medications and other actions of the learners. They can live or die and can be reviewed over and over again.

"It will make their training more realistic and better prepare them for the real thing," King said.

King had an information meeting with Montana State University-Northern acting provost Larry Strizich, Chancellor Greg Kegel, Northern Montana Hospital CEO Dave Henry, Havre Fire Department Chief Mel Paulson and Assistant Chief Kelly Jones to talk about ways to use MobileSim Montana for training.

Cardiac Ready Communities Program Manager Janet Trethewey said everyone in the meeting loved the capabilities of the manikins and what it would provide as far as training.

Aside from questions of resources, other obstacles include where the truck could be stored during the winter to keep the blood in the manikins from freezing, Trethewey said.

In 2016, the Helmsley Charitable Trust invited Montana to apply for funding to implement Simulation in Motion Montana. The $4.2 million provided allowed the purchase of three mobile simulation training trucks with a suite of high-definition simulation manikins. The front of the trucks have pull-out areas and simulate an emergency room; the back simulates an ambulance.


Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson

Joe Poole, the Bozeman Sim Team Leader, gives an overview of the birthing mannequin to Montana State University-Northern nursing students in the SIMMT trailer. The SIMMT will be able to provide training on birthing, cardiac, pediatric trauma and many other problems that rural first responders do not regularly encounter.

The idea, Trethewey said, is to have one of the three trucks stationed on the Hi-Line. The top two options are Havre and Glasgow, she added.

The advantage to MobileSim Montana is that instead of sending out two nurses for training, the hospital may be able to send five for training in the MobileSim Montana truck. 

King said nursing programs and EMS programs, as well as other medical providers, who may not have the money to buy high-fidelity simulators can take advantage of SIM Montana by temporarily employing the mobile training facility.

According to the Department of Health and Human Services website, "Our research reveals that simulation is becoming ever more important to numerous stakeholders and MobileSim Montana can be of value to  organizations and institutions who cannot maintain their own programs."

"There's a lot of excitement around this project," King said.