Military medics teach students emergency trauma care skills at training trial

Friday, 05 August 2022

military sim

Nursing students from Oxford Brookes University, Medical students from the University of Bristol and Combat Medical Technicians from MOD Lyneham took part in a pilot simulation training day of emergency trauma scenarios at Oxford Brookes University’s Swindon campus.

Designed to show how emergency situations are dealt with from the incident itself through to treatment, discharge and rehabilitation, the undergraduate students were able to get “hands on” trauma experience and an insight into the role of deployed healthcare professionals in the military. 

 Mhairi de Sainte Croix, an Army Reservist Medical Officer, and junior doctor at Great Western Hospital who initiated the pilot said: “I have a real passion for my Reservist career, and am very fortunate to have learnt so much about team working in medicine through being in the Army. There is so much crossover in terms of the training requirements, and potential benefit to both organisations in sharing knowledge and experiences. By creating this collaborative training day, my aim was to share some of the knowledge I have gained, encourage interprofessional learning, and foster a deeper understanding of each others’ roles. We saw during the Covid pandemic how military staff were called on to support the NHS, so it is my hope that this type of training will ease the transition between military and civilian healthcare, should the need arise in future.”

 Participants were arranged in mixed teams to share skills such as control of bleeding, splinting of fractures, and communication techniques, discussing differences between military and civilian healthcare environments. They then completed three scenarios in multidisciplinary teams, including managing a patient with a severely fractured limb, a heart attack, and an elderly patient who had suffered a bad fall many hours previously, leading to complications. 

Sian Jones, a final year nursing student at Oxford Brookes University said; “I’m actually thinking of volunteering as a reservist so today has been a great insight into the sort of things I might be called to assist with. One of the things I love about nursing is being part of a team where you’re really valued and how essential good teamwork is in a trauma situation really came across today.”

 Representatives from MOD Lyneham’s Defence Primary Healthcare Team said “It was a great experience to be able to work alongside our civilian colleagues, seeing how multi-agencies come together. We valued the opportunity to grow and develop alongside our peers in the NHS and hope to be able to continue this training to improve our holistic approach to treating casualties.”