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January 14, 2002

Paramedic simulators
Posted by Teresa at 02:00 PM *

There are actually quite a few of these on the web; the story-problem nature of EMS calls lends itself to the format. In Less Stress Instructional Services’ Pre-Hospital Care/EMS Simulator, “You play Bob Czagrinski, the greatest ambulance monkey to ever live… your partner Mortimer, however, leaves a little to be desired.” Which is just about right. (Note: The friend who originally told me about this site says they’ve fancied up their coding, and now his browser can’t deal with it. Mine’s still okay with it.) (Whoops! Spoke too soon. As of Scenario 29, it stops being nice flat HTML and needs a Streaming Web Plugin. So far I can’t get it to work either.)

Bob and Morty operate in Mercy City. Bob’s stalwart; Morty’s eager but gormless. There’s generally some funny business in each scenario, like finding that Death is taking the same elevator you are:

In the elevator with Death

You are in the elevator with your resuscitation gear and the angel of darkness. You look at the console and see the number 14 button lit.

Bob: “We’re going to the same floor - what a coincidence…”

Death remains motionless, but begins to speak. A strong wind current of wind swirls around your feet as its words are uttered. Its voice is deeper than Barry White’s, and it makes the elevator shake slightly.

Death: “SHE’S MINE…”

Bob: “I have 360 joules worth of ‘bite me’ slung over my shoulder and I say otherwise.”

Death turns to face you… Its voice goes up a notch, and it’s shaking its skeletal arms around in frustration.

Death: “YOU BLS GUYS HAVE GOTTEN SO COCKY EVER SINCE THEY GAVE YOU DEFIBRILLATORS! AREN’T YOU THE LEAST BIT SCARED?”

Bob: “What am I - a rookie? You’re not real - you’re a hallucination induced by caffeine and lack of sleep. I get them all the time! Last week I worked an extrication with the Easter Bunny. He sucks at spinal immobilization, by the way….”

The doors open and you exit the elevator, leaving Death behind. Where the heck is that patient?

Trauma.org’s interactive moulage scenarios (which is the formal term for these things, or maybe just the British term for them) are more challenging and technical. They also berate you for your stupidity if you make the wrong choice, and explain why and how you just killed your patient. For additional fun, in some of the scenarios the patient’s parameters and response to your treatment changes with each run-through, so you can’t just keep starting over and guessing until you find out all the right answers. If you do get through a scenario correctly, your probable reward is to have one of the characters tell you that they’d been wondering whether you’d completely lost it, but it looks like you haven’t done so yet.
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