SimMan ALS System Enhances Medical Training at MCCTC

CANFIELD, Ohio – Manikins used by students in the paramedic and medical assistant programs at Mahoning County Career and Technical Center only provided limited training for real-life scenarios.

So MCCTC purchased a $62,000 SimMan system, a patient simulator made by Laerdal Medical, to enhance the training of adult EMT and paramedic students. It’s also used in the instruction of high school EMT students at the school.

The adult career center offers both fall and spring EMT training programs and partners with University Hospitals to host paramedic training. The adult medical assisting program also teaches lifesaving skills.

“This will be used mainly to teach scenario-based skills,” says Mary Mihalopoulos, MCCTC adult career center supervisor. “Using more technology, this will allow students to practice skills safely.”

On Tuesday, MCCTC instructors learned the intricacies of the SimMan ALS, which is designed for strengthening skills in airway management, breathing assessment, vascular access, palpation and auscultation, fluid resuscitation, ECG interpretation and ultrasound assessment and diagnosis.

Vital signs can be read on a nearby monitor.

If the simulation displays a heart attack and stoppage of breathing, trainees can intubate the SimMan by placing a tube down the throat. Also, a tube can be inserted in a lung, along with a tracheostomy in the neck.

“They’re getting hands-on experience with real world scenarios, which is going to be much better than just learning from a book or practicing on a manikin that does nothing,” says Jodi Coleman, MCCTC medical department program coordinator.

Giving students this training is something MCCTC Public Safety Coordinator Andy Frost likes to see. The school’s other training manikins cannot mimic how breaths are diminished on one side of a person.

“Now they can actually stethoscope up to it and hear that diminished sound,” he says. “They’re seeing it on this manikin before they’re seeing it on live patients. That’s what makes this so wonderful. It allows them to have real life situations without dealing with real life patients.”

MCCTC paramedic instructor Will Ferrando, who is also a Boardman Township Fire Department captain, says these scenarios will mimic what is seen in the field.

If their manikin improves after treatments, students can see they’ve made the correct moves, he says.

“If they do the incorrect treatments, obviously the patients are going to decline and we’ll use those kinds of teachable moments,” Ferrando says.

“This is a great partnership between University Hospitals and Mahoning County Career Center,” Ferrando says. “Obviously they work hand-in-hand and having this manikin here, this high-fidelity manikin, that can kind of enhance what we’re able to show our paramedic students.

“With some of the old, antiquated equipment, it got the job done. It’s not the next level of education that we’re able to provide with this.”

MCCTC wants to provide continuing education to those in the medical field through the SimMan ALS system.

“We are going to train as many people as we can on this,” Frost says.

Pictured: Jodi Coleman, MCCTC medical department program coordinator, simulates rescue techniques using the Laerdal SimMan manikin with Will Ferrando, Jared Kitt and Andrew Wolfgang.

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