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The ASA+ FNA Conference Photo Competition for 30th Aeromedical Society of Australasia and Flight Nur

“To Err is Human – manikin forgiveness divine!” Aeromedical simulation – the use of current & new technologies


Ben Stanton




Ben Stanton is a Nurse Practitioner specialising in aeromedical retrieval & transport, currently employed at South Australian Ambulance Service (SAAS) MedSTAR Emergency Medical Retrieval Service in Adelaide, South Australia (SA). He is passionate about the nurse’s role in the management and transportation of the critically ill patient, pre-hospital and inter-hospital.


He started his nursing career at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Adelaide back in the early 1990’s where he first experienced the pre-hospital environment as part of  SA Health’s medical retrieval service. He ventured to London in the late 1990’s and spent 5 years working at St Georges Hospital specialising in cardiothoracic critical care nursing. On his return to Adelaide he worked at Flinders Medical Centre in the Intensive Care Unit and focusing on specialist critical care and retrieval nursing skills. In 2009 he employed by the new centralised retrieval service (MedSTAR) integrated within SAAS and has undertaken a number of post graduate retrieval medicine courses. He is also a member of AusMAT, the medical disaster response team for Australia and is an active reserve member of the Royal Australian Air Force specialising in the transportation of the critically ill & injured.



The pre-hospital & aeromedical retrieval environment can be particularly hazardous and challenging, especially for the clinicians new to that setting.  The development of new and more advanced clinical skills can be a steep learning curve for all health care professionals, and if the environment is the back of a road ambulance, rotary or fixed wing aircraft this can be especially so.

To further challenge individuals, a number of these clinical skills may be of low incidence but can have significantly high consequences if performed inappropriately. The adage of “See one, do one, teach one” has no place in modern clinical education and training. An increasing emphasis is on training where the learner is free to make mistakes, and learn from them.  Modern medical simulation training allows the acquisition of clinical skills through deliberate practice and muscle memory rather than the apprentice style of education which tends to be limited in the context of increased complexity linked with relative rarity. 

There are varying types and classifications of simulation training and their costs are generally directly related to their fidelity, or how closely they resemble reality. So how can we get the best bang for our buck in medical skills training in the aeromedical environment? Can we get the simulation input to augment the clinical output?

This presentation will look at the use of low and high fidelity simulation training at South Australian Ambulance Service (SAAS) MedSTAR, including the use of vehicle and airframe part-task trainers. It will also discuss the development and use of new technologies such as virtual reality (VR) in the provision of simulation based pre-hospital training now and into the future.

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