SIM-NE cruises past 500th onsite training in 89 of the 93 counties in Nebraska

The University of Nebraska Medical Center Simulation in Motion-Nebraska program recognized a milestone recently when it conducted its 500th onsite training session. 

SIM-NE staff use four customized, 44-foot-long trucks to provide state-of-the-art training to enhance lifesaving skills at the request of emergency medical service organizations and health professionals at hospitals in rural communities across the state.  

It has conducted training in 89 of the 93 counties in Nebraska. 

Thayer County Health Services, a critical access hospital in Hebron, was the recipient of the honor and received a plaque to commemorate the day.

The 500 onsite events across Nebraska over the four and a half years of the program’s existence equates to one training event about every three days. The 8,500 health professionals that have been trained equates to an average of about 17 learners per event. 

All of that has been accomplished with a 15-month pause in onsite education because of the pandemic. 

SIM-NE is back to onsite, hands-on simulation training across the state, although it still offers some virtual events via Zoom and Facebook Live as it did during the pandemic. 

As part of UNMC’s Interprofessional Experiential Center for Enduring Learning, or iEXCEL, SIM-NE brings its transformative program across the state to revolutionize health care education and training.  

The trucks feature a simulated emergency room and ambulance with real medical and rescue equipment, as well as high-tech, computerized patient simulators that can talk, breathe, have heartbeats and react to medications and other actions of the learners. 

In the truck’s control room, staff can program medical and trauma scenarios with the simulators. The patient simulators' vital signs are displayed on heart monitors and defibrillators.  

SIM-NE operates with six full-time and 25 to 30 part-time employees. Instructors are paramedics or nurses with a wide variety of experience. The nurses have experience in providing patient care in such areas as the ICU, emergency department, labor and delivery, pediatrics and critical care transport. The paramedics have experience working at volunteer and career EMS agencies, including working with helicopter and airplane emergency services for long-distance transport. 

The four SIM trucks have logged more than 77,000 miles across Nebraska from the 40 months they’ve been on the road, said Doug Dekker, program manager of SIM-NE.  

He said his staff continue to provide training for emergency medical services, critical access hospitals, schools and organizations. Recently SIM-NE contracted with the American Heart Association to provide stoke education at critical access hospitals and for emergency medical services staff via Facebook Live and Zoom events. They also are assisting a hospital system with its flow process for labor and delivery and training with school emergency response teams for medically high-risk student care.  

SIM-NE was initially funded with a grant from the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust. The funding supported initial start-up costs and provided training to rural EMS and critical access hospitals at no cost. With the grant completed, SIM-NE hopes to continue providing training at no or low cost. Gifts to support SIM-NE can be made at on the SIM-NE website

We are Nebraska Medicine and UNMC. Our mission is to lead the world in transforming lives to create a healthy future for all individuals and communities through premier educational programs, innovative research and extraordinary patient care. 

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