News>Medical personnel train with 'iStan'--a new life-like training tool
Medical residents train with 'iStan' - a life-like training simulator that minics the human body. The 375th Medical Group hosted the training at Scott July 19, 2012 (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Jake Eckhardt)
Capt. Christine Lee, 375th Medical Group, performs chest compressions on the medical group's training manikin. The 375th Medical Group hosted the training at Scott July 19, 2012 (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Jake Eckhardt)
by Airman 1st Class Jake Eckhardt
375th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs
7/25/2012 - SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. -- The 375th Medical Group hosted training for family practice residents of St. Louis University School of Medicine July 19.
The trainees had the opportunity to use iStan, a technologically advanced full-body manikin that provides a near real-life experience.
"This is a great building tool for teamwork and to hone your skills," said James Mattson, 375th Medical Group education and training simulation technician. "It gives the residents a chance to get hands-on training without the threat of losing a life."
The improved dummy was designed to represent a human body as much as possible. The manikin breathes, bleeds, pulsates, leaks and will even speak, cry or moan depending on what scenario he's in. Judging from the symptoms of the "patient," the residents perform anything from CPR to evasive procedures.
"If you give it medicine, it will react to what you gave and when you gave it to him," Mattson said. "They don't have to read off the symptoms of the victim from a card or be told. They have to find everything out by examining the patient. It puts the trainee in the most realistic situation possible."
The test dummy was operated wirelessly from another room. The manikin could be operated from a distance up to 300 feet. It was given commands from a laptop, and if it's "condition" wasn't treated within a realistic time, the computer took over and the dummy's symptoms worsened.
"You really have to be proactive," said Dr. Steve Whealon, Belleville Family Medicine Residency R-1. "It's different when you see the actual signs you would see in a real situation. You get a better opportunity to interpret the symptoms that they are showing."
One of the traits this training was intended to instill in the residents was the feeling of working in a group.
"Teamwork is important, everyone will contribute during the exercise or a real situation," he said. "You're going to have a lot of help in the hospital in all kinds of different scenarios, so you need to learn how to effectively work in teams and communicate."
Training with iStan has given the residents a chance to enhance their own skill set while learning others.
"It takes you to the next step. You need the real time feedback," he said. "It helps you develop your diagnostic skills, observation skills along with your team communication and reactions, because a lot of it is just trying to figure out what you're actually seeing."
Mattson said, "Being in a training scenario can be stressful. It's all about getting into the mindset that you have to be in to be a doctor. We would rather them learn like this than a real life situation."