Sim Man provides better training opportunities, saves money

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Daniel Phelps
  • 39th Air Base Wing Public Affairs
In the midst of talks of sequestration and cutting back in the military, one Airman in the 39th Medical Operations Squadron made a half-a-million-dollar discovery that also drastically improved training opportunities for the unit.

Staff Sgt. Tracy Metcalf-Kocacay, 39th Medical Operations Squadron NCO in charge of training, was performing a spring cleaning in the 39th Medical Group building when she happened upon three adult "dummies" and a baby "dummy" along with electronic gear that belong to them.

After some research, it turned out that this equipment had been ordered some time ago. The individuals who purchased it and knew how to operate it left Incirlik before it arrived in the mail, so someone stored the everything in a closet when did finally get here.

To help the 39th MDG get these "Sim Men" set up, help was called in from another United States Air Forces Europe base, said Staff Sgt. Nikki Bolat, 39th MDOS medical technician. Staff Sgt. Matthew Kosmund, 48th Medical Operations Squadron medical technician, from Royal Air Force Base Lakenheath, England, came to Incirlik AB for a temporary duty assignment to set up the Sim Men and train 39th MDOS personnel on how to use them and the associated computer equipment.

These Sim Men are basically controlled human patients, said Capt. Rachel Rhodes, 39th MDOS clinical nurse. They can be used for training on advanced cardiac life support, intubation, tracheotomies, etc.

"The amazing part is they can be programmed to react according to the work that needs to be done on him," Bolat exclaimed. "This provides for better training when Airmen have to work on real people."

The Sim Men can be set to bleed in the case of an amputation, and a tourniquet has to be placed in a timely manner.

A bag was filled with a red fluid that was connected to tubes in the Sim Man, and when a button was pushed, the fluid began flowing out of the amputated leg piece on the Sim Man.

Airman 1st Class Valerie Essman, 39th MDOS ambulance serviceman, practiced placing a tourniquet on a Sim Man who "lost" part of his leg and had to stop the "bleeding" before he bled out.

"Having the Sim Men set up has allowed us to provide training that people might not be able to get on station," Bolat continued. "It's been a big help to the students."

Cardiac rhythms can be set and vital signs monitored through the computer that is connected to them.

"You can actually watch the Sim Man breathe and hear his heart beat," said Rhodes.

Trainers are able to change out parts on the Sim Men for various training scenarios, whether it be open wound, male or female, or catheters, Bolat said.

"The closer you can get to real life for practice, the better your skills are going to be," Rhodes added. "This is as close to real life as you can get. It's definitely made our students sharper."