Celebrating Healthcare Simulation Week

In honor of Healthcare Simulation Week, we are sharing stories from Simulation in Motion (SIM), a mobile education training system that brings state–of-the-art, hands-on training to prehospital and hospital personnel. Helmsley’s Rural Healthcare Program has granted over $20 million for SIM. The program, currently in four states, uses high-fidelity human patient simulators to deliver realistic emergency medical training to the far corners of Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota.

Nebraska: An eye-opening scenario

SIM training is a powerful tool for emergency medical personnel and first responders, sometimes in unexpected ways. Brian Monaghan, program manager for SIM-Nebraska, tells the story of a rural Nebraska sheriff who declared during training in August: “I screwed up.”

The training scenario: An opioid overdose, where the victim was a small child who had gotten into his grandparent’s pain medication. Before this simulation scenario, the sheriff had seen just one opioid overdose in his 20-year career, and illegal opiates were uncommon in his corner of Nebraska.

Because the sheriff believed that opioid overdoses were rare in his area, he didn’t think the sheriff’s office needed to carry naloxone, an antidote for opiate overdose. After the SIM training, the sheriff realized opioids are in a lot of medicine cabinets in his county and many lives could be saved by naloxone.  

“This goes to show you how powerful simulation training can be,” Monaghan said.

South Dakota: Good timing

SIM training helps medical teams hone their emergency skills – without the pressure of an actual emergency. When the real emergency arises, the team is ready.

A team from a rural South Dakota ambulance service dealt with a number of simulated medical scenarios during a recent training session. One involved an adult trauma patient who needed decompression and intubation. Not something most paramedics do on a regular basis.

“Not even 30 minutes after your truck pulled away, we were dispatched to a local residence for difficulty breathing,” wrote Brad Steiefvader, president and paramedic at McCook County EMS. “Upon arrival, the patient was lying in bed on her left side in severe respiratory distress.”

The crew was able to comfortably deploy the skills they had learned during the SIM training.

“We regularly hear from participants in sponsored simulation session that they have encountered a clinical event that was covered in simulation training,” said Travis Spier, director of simulation and center for pre-hospital care at Sanford Health. “The cases provide clinicians the ability to fairly and safely evaluate themselves on clinical preparedness and capability to address low-frequency, high-risk events.”

SIM Training Opportunities

SIM training opportunities are currently available in four states. Contact each program directly to learn how to schedule a training:

Or, if you are interested in learning more about SIM, contact Program Officer Heidi Schultz at hschultz@helmsleytrust.org.