SIM-MT Travels to Ennis, MT

Picture of SIM-MT
Thursday, Oct 10, 2019

Prehospital Trauma Life Support Training: Simulation In Motion-Montana Inc. In Ennis

Simulation in Motion – Montana Inc. conducted a weekend of emergency medical training for members of the Ennis Ambulance Service, Madison Valley Rural Fire Department, Lifeflight and neighboring emergency medical technicians at the Ennis Fire Hall Sept. 28 -19.

The two day training gave students opportunities to apply their skills on mannequins or volunteers with mock injuries, which were created using makeup and fake blood. Students reacted to real-life, changing situations in the simulations, which helps medical responders uphold prehospital trauma life support training certifications. 

“We don’t get a chance to use a lot of those skills,” Ennis EMS manager, Patti Austin said.

Montana has three mobile simulation labs housed in semitrailers that bring high tech-tech simulations to healthcare teams and first responders throughout the state. SIM – MT’s primary clients are critical access hospitals and rural emergency services.

Bringing high-quality immersive education to remote places in Montana fortifies the needed skills that rural medical services do not have regular access to because of the low volume of need.

The Society for Simulation in Healthcare, the internationally recognized accrediting body of simulation in healthcare, and the Council for Accreditation of Healthcare Simulation Programs accredited SIM – MT May 2019, making it the first and only SSH accredited mobile simulation program in the world. 

Seven instructors from across Montana presented the latest research regarding trauma care in the field. In addition to lectures and application of those skills, participants practiced their skills using a high-tech mannequin that SIM -MT provided.

“Participants were encouraged to use critical thinking to address patients who were bleeding and not breathing adequately,” Ennis EMS emergency medical technician Mary Ann Dowd-Sussman said. “Decisions made early in inpatient care can ensure the greatest chance of survival for these patients.”

The SIM – MT semitrailer has a small classroom, a simulated ambulance box and computers with video screens for teaching and monitoring. When the control room doors shut, the simulation began.

“It’s just like you’re in the back of an ambulance,” Austin said.

Students trained on “Little Tommy,” the simulated mannequin that represented a 7-year-old boy. His eyes moved and blinked, his pupils dilated with light and he had a changeable pulse and respiratory rate. His facial expressions changed to reflect emotions and conditions, and he talked in response to his injuries and care – “Oh, that hurts,” “I can’t breathe,” “I want my mommy.”  

“It was so real, it was intimidating,” Austin said. “It was amazing.”

The simulations were computer driven and fluid based on various levels of care givers and changes in the patient.  All the students agreed it was exciting, dynamic and excellent training, according to Dowd-Sussman.

The training was funded in part through a grant from the Montana Highway Department of Transportation and the Helmsley Charitable Trust.

The grant from Helmsley Charitable Trust funded Montana’s three mobile simulation semitrailers, mannequins, supplies and three years of operations funding on a sliding scale of reduction each year. The grant prioritized simulation education to critical access hospitals and rural EMS communities to be delivered at no cost. 

Madison Valley Medical Center, a critical access hospital, reserved the southwest SIM – MT semitrailer Nov. 7 and the Ennis Ambulance Service is in the process of reserving it around the same date.