SageWest’s mission is making communities healthier and strives to keep patients close to home for their care. However, during certain situations, patients will need a higher level of specialty care and will be transferred to another facility.

Hospital staff, EMS, and flight crews got some hands-on training this morning at SageWest Health Care in Riverton. Classic Air Medical brought in the mobile simulation lab to let medical professionals have some real-time experience and learning. The mobile lab lets staff go through the life-saving steps while still being able to ask questions and learn at a slower non-threatening pace.

Robert Smith, the simulation dummy, does everything like a real person, even verbally responding to stimuli.

Renee Barry, a flight nurse, walked us through the lab and the dummy process.

“He simulates all of the heart tones. We can make all of the murmurs that are possible to be heard on this mannequin. It’ll have belly sounds. We can make it gender appropriate. Male or female, you can do those kinds of procedures. It has pulses that you can feel in the neck, the wrists, and the foot. And then we can do the intubating procedures and start IVs. It talks and interacts during all of this. Pretty great technology to be able to teach with.

The overhead monitor will interact with the student. I could come over here and look at the EKG and it’ll tell me what I need to know and then I can update it as they run me through this scenario. It can be so involved, it’s not just static learning. The controller can change Robert’s stats as I do certain things. I do the intervention and I come back over here and check, okay, my blood pressure improved. Then I can run it again and make it tell me if I got a good result from what I just did. So you’ll see it, take it and go.

I can practice the defibrillator. This will make me shock it at the appropriate weight-based amount of jewels and enough time to convert them out of that rhythm. This will hook up on here and interact with our monitor without discharging a real shock, but it will simulate it on the mannequin.

This morning, we did a collaborative training with the hospital. We did a chest pain drill. We alerted the ambulance. The ambulance went out and got a chest pain victim and brought it in. The scanner put out an alert. The hospital team had already called Classic Air Medical to come. Our helicopter came and they “hot loaded” the patient (the simulation dummy) meaning the patient will be loaded into the helicopter while the engines are still running. This way the patient can be loaded and then taken straight to proper care without interruption. You don’t have time to shut things down and turn it back on again.”

The Sim Lab travels to each one of their bases to provide the training.

It’s great that we are able to bring it around and offer it and share it with all of our requesters and the public in the towns that we serve. Yesterday we had it up in Dubois and today in Riverton. Tomorrow we’ll be at SageWest Hospital in Lander 6 am until after lunch. And then we’ll be at the Lander Fire Hall from 6 pm to 8 pm. That will be open to the public. Any first responder can come.

Classic Air takes the mobile training lab to 6 states for training. This expands far outside of Wyoming providing free training to medical professionals.

Amy Woodward, an ER Nurse, talked about the importance of the training. “When a heart patient comes into the ER, the heart muscle is dying rapidly. This training makes real-time scenario smoother. You can stop, get feedback and ask questions. And there’s a lot more interaction time.”

ER Nurses, L to R:
Amy Woodward, Misty Burns, & Stephanie Stelzner

As a new nurse in the emergency department, it was awesome to be at this training. – Misty Burns, ER Nurse

Another highlight of the training was the participants got to go on a helicopter ride.

Classic Air Medical flies to Casper 24/7 out of Riverton and Lander. Look for them at the Fremont County Fair this next week.