group around a demonstration
Members of the Washington Army National Guard 161st infantry brush up on skills at the WSU College of Nursing’s simulation lab, through a new partnership.

A new partnership between the Washington Army National Guard 161st Infantry unit and the Washington State University College of Nursing brought 30 combat medics to the college for two days of training this fall.

Working in the College of Nursing’s simulation lab, groups of medics rotated between practicing skills like starting IVs and giving injections. Then as groups of three they took part in a hands-on patient care scenario that had them caring for a wounded soldier in a Battalion Aid Station setting.

“The realism here is invaluable,” said Capt. Matt Yamamoto, of the 1st Battalion, 161st Infantry Regiment.

Training in combat emergency medicine is typically done at Joint Base Lewis McChord’s Medical Simulation Training Center, near Tacoma. The Army National Guard was looking for equally high-quality training in Eastern Washington to make it more convenient for the 1stBattalion, 161st infantry unit, which is headquartered in Spokane.

The Army National Guard contacted the WSU College of Nursing based on the college’s longstanding, successful partnership with the Washington Air National Guard, said Kevin Stevens, director of the Center for Clinical Performance & Simulation. Air National Guard medics have trained at the college’s simulation lab for a decade.

She said she hopes to continue building on the College of Nursing’s new partnership with the Army National Guard.

“We want them to be able to stay on this side of the state and receive the same kind of training they’d get at Madigan Army Medical Center on the west side,” she said.

army specialist with IV bag
Spec. Aaron Kelly works on a high-tech manikin during training at the WSU College of Nursing on Sept. 8, 2018.

specialist listening to dog's belly via stethoscope

An Army National Guard combat medic practices evaluating a dog’s vital signs at the WSU College of Nursing on Sept. 9, 2018, as part of a new partnership with the college.

–Story by Addy Hatch, photos by Sarah Schaub and Addy Hatch

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