Performance Assessment in a Virtual Simulation for Integrated Austere Medical Operations Training

Bauchwitz, B.1, Makivic, M.1, Manning, W.1, Niehaus, J.1, Broach, J.2, Lancette, P.2,3, Garrison, C.4, Ritter, F.4, and Weyhrauch, P.1

Virtual Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation, and Education Conference (vI/ITSEC) (November 2020)

The DoD is preparing for future austere environments where it will not be possible to sustain the current level of medical operations across the chain of care. Enemy activity, resource depletion, and lack of safe spaces to deliver care will all provide unique challenges to the performance of medical operations. Under these circumstances, medical operations will require the coordination of personnel outside traditional medical roles, such as those involved in logistics or mission command. The DoD has neither a curriculum nor a suitable training system for teaching the skills necessary to succeed in these operational environments.

Here we report initial work designing the training curriculum and performance assessment metrics for Extensible Field and Evacuation Care Training in a Virtual Environment (EFECTIVE), a virtual simulation for training, practicing, and assessing the skills for managing medical operations in austere and far forward environments. EFECTIVE is intended to provide training for personnel in traditional medical roles (combat lifesavers, flight nurses, field surgeons, etc.) as well as those in roles that interface with medical personnel during complex missions. This training is designed to emphasize coordination of activities across these different roles as well as the problem solving and decision-making skills that become necessary when medical operation cannot be performed as intended.

We applied the Methodology for Annotated Skill Trees (MAST), a previously published cognitive task analysis framework, to design the curriculum for this training system. The results of this initial work were (1) a set of plausible training scenarios inspired by challenges faced by today’s Warfighters but expanded to represent future austere battlespaces; (2) a set of critical skills needed by medical, logistics, and mission command personnel to successfully perform their duties in these scenarios; and (3) definitions for concrete, objective metrics for assessing proficiency on these skills in the EFECTIVE simulation environment.

1 Charles River Analytics
2 UMass Memorial Medical Center/UMass Medical School
3 Nurse Corps, US Army Reserves
4 The Pennsylvania State University

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