Oklahoma State University-Oklahoma City

OSU-OKC EMS Students Experience Real-Life Scenarios with Ambulance Simulator

From flashing lights to breathing mannequins, OSU-Oklahoma City’s Public Safety Training Center (PSTC) is stepping up in the world of paramedic training. New this semester, the PSTC has added an ambulance simulator that allows paramedic students to experience emergency scenarios similar to what they will face in the real world.


OSU-OKC Emergency Medical Services program director Stacy Morton said the simulator will decrease the learning curve for students when they are hired at an agency. With a fully-equipped hydraulic system, students will be prepared for the challenges of continual motion while in the back of an ambulance. “It will show them the restriction in terms of space all while attending to the needs of the patients, particularly those who are critically ill or injured,” she said.


Machelle Krause, the lab coordinator for the simulator, said hands-on experience is crucial for EMS students. She has ensured that the simulator is stocked with supplies required for state ambulances. “That way, everything is in [the simulator] that they can use with the call that we give them.”


Krause said one of the most important elements of the ambulance simulator is the mannequins, which are programmable to match almost any scenario. Students are able check for a pulse, take blood pressure readings, administer medications, perform CPR and more. In addition, the mannequins can breathe and use some small words. From outside of the simulator, instructors will be able to view students’ performances on the monitors and provide guidance and feedback as the situation unfolds.


Todd Alsup, Sales & Marketing Vice President for Simulator Solutions, said OSU-OKC is only the second university in the nation to have this type of ambulance simulator. Simulator Solutions, based out of Coleman, Texas, believes in providing students with the best quality and training so they can perform as well as possible when saving lives.


Students are already finding the simulator scenarios to be a crucial element in their learning experience.


“It’s difficult to talk to someone on their worst day. If they’re calling in 911, it’s pretty serious for them. We have to perform our best on their worst day,” said Andrew Skidmore, EMT-Basic student. “It won’t eliminate mistakes, but hopefully it will minimize them.”


Once students complete the required courses, they can take the test to become nationally certified in EMT basics. Upon completion of EMT basic and certification, students can then take paramedic courses.


“I’m hoping to gain as much preparation as I can. I will then be able to apply what I learned in [the classroom] to the real world so it doesn’t seem totally foreign,” said Chris Rogers, EMT-Basic student.


For more information on OSU-OKC’s EMS program, visit www.osuokc.edu/humanservices or call 405.945.6778.

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Pictured are OSU-OKC EMT-Basic students Colton Purdon, Andrew Skidmore and Elijah Young in the university’s new ambulance simulator. OSU-OKC is the second college in the nation to have a Simulator Solutions simulator that is able to mimic real-life situations. Photo by Catherine Divis.