ROCHESTER, MN — When people think of the army they typically think about wars and combat but there are many soldiers whose duty is to save lives.
The training this army medical reserves group is doing is not real but you would have never guessed it by watching them.
They partnered up with the Mayo Clinic for the second time.
In the real situation they may not be in the type of facility they are training in, but they try to make it as real as possible.
“Everything from relatively common care to very complex trauma and intensive care,” said Dr. Walter Franz, a Mayo Clinic physician and U.S. Army Colonel.
He says exercises like this are all about making their patient feel at home even though they may be far from it.
“We know we can’t make a tent feel like your hometown hospital, but we want the care to be personalized and we want the care to be quality,” Franz said.
Typically those injured would be taken to tents for treatment, but those participating in this simulation know the skills used are the same no matter where they are.
“We have brought in some of our equipment that we would use in the military such as our litters and some of the anesthesia machines,” said Capt. Jennifer Fowler of the Army Medical Reserve.
One of the main goals of this training is to make it feel just like the real thing.
“If a soldier is working on one of the patients and we want to change the outcome of it, we have the opportunity here to provide realism to the patient to see how the soldier would react,” said Col. (P) Danny Baldwin of Medical Readiness and Training Command.
Those in charge of this simulation say the most helpful tool is used after the training is over.
“We do playback of the scenarios so the soldier can actually see themselves in action and go oh I did do that, I didn’t realize it so that’s the most critical part of this event,” Baldwin said.
Those in the military taking part, come from all over North America, and are quickly learning how much of a benefit that can be.
“I’m from Pennsylvania, most of the people are from New York and in Canada and we get together and say hey, this is my experience, this is what I do, this is what I can add to it,” Fowler said.
Baldwin said the goal is to have these trainees prepared for every situation in the field they will encounter.
They want them to be able to think and react instead of trying to figure out what to do.
Baldwin said they appreciate the help from the Mayo Clinic because there are not these types of facilities just anywhere.
He adds it also means a lot for these soldiers to give up their weekends to learn.