Ambulance Simulators enable Emergency Medical Service (EMS) professionals to realistically train for the unique challenges of patient care within a confined and mobile space. Ranging from simple environmental wallpaper coverings for static sim lab rooms to fully immersive simulated ambulances on moving hydraulic presses with realistic lights and sirens, ambulance simulation has quickly become a key component in educating and training EMS providers.
Providing EMS students and professionals with realistic training is crucial to their success in the field. By providing EMS learners with the opportunity to train in the most realistic way possible, clinical educators can reduce costs associated with medical errors while improving provider performance (See: Simulation Training Proven to Reduce Infection Rate & Hospital Costs).
Starting an IV or performing CPR while a patient is stationery is one level of mastery for new EMS providers. But as any EMS professional will surely attest, performing these skills while in the back of an Ambulance that is racing through to the hospital is a completely different experience. By providing medical simulation learning experiences that closely resemble the realities of professional care in a consistent and qualitative manner, EMS educators can best prepare learners for the real world.
To further increase realism in the Ambulance Simulator, institutions can invest in high-fidelity manikins like those from Laerdal, CAE Healthcare, or Gaumard, or utilize Standardized Patients (trained actors).
The U.S. military takes healthcare simulation seriously with the use of medical simulators like the WAVE, wherein combat medics engage in patient assessment, movement, and care within simulated battlefield conditions. “Practice as you play”, as they say. And yet, a 2014 National “SUPER” Survey by the National Association of EMS Educators (NAEMSE) found that more than 30% of United States healthcare schools with simulation technology cannot utilize the millions of dollars of gifted equipment because they “do not have the training required to operate these devices”. But with very little technical hurdles to overcome with the use of Ambulance Simulators, it is a wonder why more programs don’t encourage this type of realistic simulated learning.
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Simple wall paper coverings to create more realistic ambulance environments can be found from vendors like those from Kwickscreen. Increased realism can be achieved in makeshift ambulance and EMS simulation scenarios with video wall projections like the systems found from Immersive Interactive, which create the visual and auditory experience of being ‘on scene’.
The highest fidelity Ambulance Simulators sit on hydraulic presses to mimic vehicle movement, and have working lights, sirens combined with audiovisual recording and debriefing systems. These unique products can be found from vendors like DiaMedical’s SimRig or self constructed like Vassar’s Simbulance.
Recording the Ambulance Simulator learning experience for debriefing purposes allows learners to re-examine their performance from a 3rd person perspective, providing for self-reflexive learning not possible in any other way. By annotating the live recording of the simulation experience, educators can quickly highlight key moments for group and self-directed learning in the debriefing phase. Vendors who provide audiovisual recording systems include Level 3 Healthcare (SIMStation), EMS SimulationIQ, B-Line Medical, KBPort, and more.