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Ozarks Technical Community College was the site for emergency medical technicians and paramedics from Cox Hospitals to take part in simulated emergency training Thursday.
The technicians faced four emergency scenarios ranging from a five-year-old child with an ear infection reacting to medication to a 59-year-old man with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Teams of technicians were required to recognize the problem and treat it as evaluators watched them work.
The training is held monthly and about 180 Cox technicians take part in the training scenarios each quarter in order to qualify for recertification.
The scenarios made use of the College’s interactive high-fidelity manikins that can breathe, bleed, sweat, and speak and are designed to simulate patients of various ages with various emergency situations that included a cardiac arrest scenario and an asthma patient who stopped breathing.
Thursday’s simulations involved dealing with respiratory issues. A previous simulation session held in the spring dealt with cardiac issues and the next session will deal with trauma issues.
More than 40 Cox emergency medical personnel participated in Thursday’s training and Dr. Matt Brandt, medical director of OTC’s EMT program, said observers evaluate the technicians in three areas.
“They are judged on critical decision-making skills, scene management and skills performance, such as delivering an IV and intubating a patient,” he said.
The simulation manikins are a critical part of the training’s effectiveness.
“Simulation training can be used to see areas in which students perform well, as well as areas of weakness, which helps us to be proactive in educating students before they graduate, take their licensure exams, and go to work in the community,” said Michelle Howard, Allied Health simulation director for the College.
OTC is planning to expand the current simulation facilities into a complete Simulation Center, which will help train 11 different disciplines in the College’s Allied Health division as well as healthcare professionals in the community.
When the Simulation Center is complete, the College will continue to host regular simulation events for Cox Hospitals and will provide opportunities for open lab training.
Brandt said the simulation training is available for any area of emergency personnel and is not restricted to Cox technicians. Those interested in taking the training can contact David Allen at 417-818-0390.