As demand for allied health careers across Reno-Sparks grows, students who enroll at Truckee Meadows Community College to take courses in nursing, radiologic technology, and EMS must be prepared to jump right into jobs upon graduation. The Public Safety Department grooms students for these types of careers by offering advanced courses in prehospital emergency medicine (paramedic), emergency management and homeland security.
A grant was recently funded by the Governor’s Office for Science, Innovation and Technology (OSIT), the William N. Pennington Foundation, and the Robert Z. Hawkins Foundation to purchase two SimMan 3G Manikins and two RespiTrainer ADVANCE Intubation Trainers. This equipment will add an additional level of training for the students and allow them to be even more confident in their skills when they head out into the workforce.
The SimMan 3G Manikins simulate real human functions such as respiration, pulse, heart rate, breathing, bleeding and more. Additionally, the Manikin can communicate with its caregiver by responding to questions and recording data for evaluation and debriefing purposes.
According to Terry Mendez, EMS Instructor: “Prehospital emergency medicine is a very unique area of a health care team. We meet very special challenges in austere environments and must react in a timely manner. This creates very special challenges for training and preparedness of students as it is difficult to simulate critically ill patients and stressors in an educational setting. The introduction of high fidelity simulation has allowed educators to close that gap significantly. This technology allows much greater realism of varied disease and injury pathologies for students to identify, plan, and treat in real time. These give the ability to show students how patients will deteriorate and why during stressed scenarios, and how the student must respond meaningfully. Our greatest asset from high fidelity simulation is for students to make common entry-level paramedic mistakes on a simulator rather than a live patient, and to take that experience into their career.”
The RespiTrainer ADVANCE Intubation Trainers are an intubation and manual ventilation training system that provides instant feedback on manual ventilation skills by sending data wirelessly to a computer in real time. The system provides different patient lung conditions in real time for training purposes.
And Terry had this to say about the importance of the RespiTrainer systems, “ventilatory management is the most important skill pre-hospital providers must learn. This requires extensive education and practice. The practice is what is extremely difficult in an educational setting. Students need tactile interaction to 'feel' how an airway will feel and respond during different illnesses and disease processes. The Advanced RespiTrainer by Ingmar Medical allows students to interact with realistic airway anatomy and experience real time ventilatory management feedback. This high fidelity simulator allows students that "feel" of the airway and provides tactic feedback to understand airway physiology. This will allow the student to be a much better provider for critically ill patients they will encounter.”
Both systems are portable and can be used in a classroom setting, as well as in the TMCC ambulance, enhancing training for nursing, paramedic and radiologic technology students. The program may be expanded in the future to include University of Nevada, Reno physician assistant students.
By adding this equipment to these important Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) programs, there will be more opportunities for collaboration between Nursing, Radiologic Technology and EMS, which will allow for enhanced skill sets once these students enter the workforce and have need to interact on occasion, perhaps in a hospital setting.
The TMCC Foundation is grateful to OSIT, the William N. Pennington Foundation and the Robert Z. Hawkins Foundation for their ongoing support of our workforce preparation initiatives.