12/20/2007 12:00 AM
Students are getting a whole new approach to treating patients through an EMS training program out at the Brayton Fire Training School.
It's there that realistic human simulators are making all the difference in emergency education.
"Within about the first hour of this class they will forget he's a plastic mannequin," Associate Training Specialist Chris Framstead.
"Everything you do to him is actually a timeline of what is actually taking place with a patient," Raymond Olson with the College Station Fire Department said. "Everything you do reflects what's going to happen in real life. So it's actually like working on a real person."
The days of the unresponsive training dummies may be over, now that a new breed of state of the art art human simulators can breathe, bleed, and even produce a pulse.
"As the age of mannequins has progressed we're starting to see the more animatronic type mannequins that students can actually visualize what these signs and symptoms are," Framstead said.
The program is put on by the Texas Engineering Extension Service. The cost of one life-like simulator called "Charlie" is about a quarter million dollars. But after experiencing a realistic medical emergency on one of the high-tech mannequins, trainees say it's hard to imagine going back to the standard practice dummy.
"You can do a procedure on Charlie and he actually responds to it," College Station Fireman and Paramedic John Norgaard said. "So if he's not getting enough oxygen or you don't have a good enough airway it's going to show up."
TEEX now has 13 adult simulators and nine child mannequins, that it uses to teach training courses all across the country. This hands on approach is attracting the attention of students.
"I thought we were going to sit in class all day, kind of death by power point, but it's been real interactive we've come away with a lot of stuff," Norgaard said.