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Simulation in Motion Montana helps students learn necessary skills with hands-on training

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Posted at 5:52 PM, Apr 25, 2023

HELENA — At Helena College’s Donaldson Campus on Tuesday, Licensed Practical Nurse students learned important and necessary skills when it comes to taking care of the community’s aging population.

“Our mission is to get to the most rural areas that we can so that we can provide health equity and education across the state so that we can ultimately improve patient outcomes in everywhere in our state,” says Simulation Specialist Team Lead for Simulation in Motion Montana, Maile Allzer.

Simulation in Motion Montana teaches students necessary skills through simulation training with high-tech manikins. These types of manikins cost thousands of dollars, are controlled with a computer, and can simulate birthing, breathing, bleeding, and more. On Tuesday though, students attending the trainings at Helena College worked with an actor simulating real-life experiences. Depending on the curriculum, Simulation in Motion may rely upon one or the other. But both of these routes can allow students to gain a practical understanding in a safe and contained environment.

“We really focus on everything that is going to be really high risk, but people don’t get to practice very often, so the low frequency. So that they can practice on our manikins, make all those mistakes, so that when they see it in real life it’ll be much smoother than previously,” says Allzer.

Students covered topics such as stroke identification, dementia, and de-escalation.

Simulation in Motion Montana was fortunate enough to receive enough in funding from the University of Montana’s Montana Geriatric Education Center to be able to visit 7 colleges and 3 nursing homes throughout Montana.

Allzer says that this information is especially important for those practicing nursing in Montana because of our elderly population.

“Montana’s a huge aging population as well as we have a very independent population. So, a lot of these people are living at home by themselves, hundreds of miles from care. So, if we can help train students and make them more comfortable when it comes to caring for these people, they’ll be able to assist them to stay at home longer and they can live, you know, the end of their life however they want to,” says Allzer.