The crew of the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance (HIOWAA) are set to benefit from a pioneering new immersive simulation training facility at the charity’s new airbase in Thruxton, near Andover.
The new facility provides a number of functionalities, including the ability to project a series of mock incident scenes, complete with movement and sound. The crew are currently able to simulate a multitude of different training environments; from a busy nightclub to a Hampshire forest. HIOWAA will continue to add to the scenes available, including the New Forest, the Helipad at St Mary’s Hospital and the resuscitation room in University Hospital Southampton.
HIOWAA’s Consultant Paramedic, Els Freshwater, commented:
“This exciting piece of equipment allows us to safely practice many of the technical and non-technical skills that are required of a critical care team. At a recent training day we were able to simulate a number of scenarios, including a patient who had fallen in a forest, a cyclist who had been knocked off a bicycle on a busy road and a pedestrian who had been hit by a van in a residential area”.
Valuable learning takes place, not only during the scenarios, but also in the subsequent debrief, giving the crew time to reflect on their performance and how things might have been done differently if a similar situation had occurred in ‘real life’. Formal training sessions will take place in the HIOWAA immersive training suite on a regular basis, as well as impromptu training sessions whilst the crew are on duty, allowing them to refine essential skills.
Other items of new kit include the iSimulate; a simulated patient monitor. The iSimulate allows Education Facilitators to provide realtime feedback on a patient’s condition to the crew as they provide treatment. The more realistic the simulation, the more the crew are able to immerse themselves in the situation and practice important skills. Colleagues act as bystanders and training manikins are dressed in real clothes in order to make each scenario even more realistic.
HIOWAA CEO Alex Lochrane commented:
“Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance is one of the few Air Ambulance services in the country to benefit from this pioneering technology. The new immersive training suite is an example of our commitment to remain at the forefront of pre-hospital emergency care, continually improving the service that we are able to provide to our patients”.