Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine (RVUCOM) students from the Military Medicine Track participated in Cut Suit Week, a large-scale, healthcare simulation event hosted by Strategic Operations, Inc. (STOPS). The event took place at the Stu Segall Productions facility in San Diego, California from Sunday, April 28th to Saturday, May 4th.
RVUCOM students were joined by their counterparts from Touro University Nevada, A.T. Still University of Health Sciences, and Western University of Health Sciences for a hands-on learning experience alongside first responders. After brushing up on their surgical skills at workshops throughout the week, students participated in Hyper-Realistic™ scenarios that included an active shooter, explosions, a domestic violence incident, and various surgical simulations. During the scenarios, they rushed to treat patients suffering from life-threatening injuries, and performed a wide range of medical procedures including chest tube thoracotomies, deep wound packing, combat tourniquet application, intraosseous infusions, and more. The Cut Suit® (a human-worn body suit which simulates realistic trauma) was utilized for life-threatening injuries requiring complex surgical procedures.
The simulations, part of STOPS’ Intensive Surgical and Trauma Skills Course, were designed to completely immerse participants in battlefield conditions and emergency situations, and allowed students to hone their skills in a controlled environment. The back-to-back scenarios also highlighted the unique aspect of emergency medicine for physicians serving in the Armed Forces: triaging the wounded and providing critical care en route to a surgical facility.
The Hyper-Realistic™ training at Cut Suit Week went beyond the medical procedures as students experienced an active scene from the perspective of law enforcement, which included how they treat a scene before the victim makes it to the Emergency Room (ER) or Operating Room (OR). For those students who volunteered to be standardized patients, they also experienced first-hand how trauma can affect a patient before they have received medical treatment.
For Hannah Douglas, OMS II, Cut Suit Week was a thoroughly educational experience. “I had the opportunity to gain hands on surgical, emergency, and anesthesiology exposure,” said SD Douglas. “I went in thinking I was going to fall behind studying for [my board examinations], and instead came away knowing I will be a better physician because of it.”