Blood bubbles up and pours from a deep wound on the patient’s leg. A bruise extends from her shoulder down to her chest and abdomen. Her fractured forearm hangs from her elbow.
It’s a patient case that would prompt any health care practitioner into careful action under threat of potential life lost. Luckily for those working this patient, she is made of silicone and plastic, and her blood is created with red dye.
The female trauma simulator, affectionately named “007,” is the newest addition to the UF Center for Experiential Learning and Simulation’s arsenal of high-fidelity human patient simulators. The center is the first organization in the nation to welcome home this particular simulator.
Tom LeMaster, M.S.N., MEd, R.N., director of operations for the center, said 007 enables medical and physician assistant students, residents and hospital staff to gain important training in treating female trauma patients, a particular skill set that research shows is lacking among practitioners in both U.S. military and civilian hospitals.
“This simulator was molded to model the physique of a female soldier with the goal of improving care of female soldiers on the battlefield,” LeMaster said. “In our school and clinics, working with this simulator can improve our students’ competencies in treating women in need of trauma care.”
007 is completely anatomically accurate, a first for a female trauma simulator, according to Lou Oberndorf, CEO and chair of Operative Experience Inc., a Maryland-based company that creates the female trauma simulator as well as a host of other high-fidelity simulators for use in medical education. Her wounds simulate injuries one might get from an explosion, blunt trauma or gunshot, and those who train with her learn skills in prehospital patient care, airway stabilization, hemorrhage control and wound management.
Oberndorf said training with high-fidelity simulators like 007 gives students and practitioners the chance to become comfortable with high-stakes trauma care in a low-risk environment.
“Over the last 25 years of using high-fidelity simulators, we’ve learned that training with simulators and using advanced experiential learning techniques enable our health care providers to react in an almost instinctive, professional and knowledgeable way when they’re faced with traumatic situations,” he said.
Oberndorf has been immersed in health care simulation technology since the mid-1990s, when he met a group of engineers and anesthesiologists from the UF College of Medicine who had recently invented the world’s first high-fidelity human patient simulator. He quickly realized the potential of the technology, licensed the human patient simulator and founded Medical Education Technologies Inc., which became a global leader in health care simulation and education.
Today, UF medical and PA students train with simulators like 007 in the Louis H. Oberndorf Experiential Learning Theater, housed within the George T. Harrell, M.D., Medical Education Building.