A training tool to improve battlefield first-aid skills
Pictorial Representations of Medical Procedures to Train for Effective Recall (PROMPTER)
Reducing combat fatalities demands quick and effective emergency care on the battlefield, and all Soldiers are expected to provide immediate, basic care to themselves or comrades. Critical first-aid procedures are described in the Soldier’s Manual of Common Tasks, but recalling these procedures in stressful, life-threatening battlefield environments is challenging. In addition, each first-aid skill is composed of numerous, interrelated subtasks and processes. Successful accomplishment of these subtasks and processes depends heavily on an individual Soldier’s basic aptitude, underlying skills, and understanding of the task flow involved.
Advanced training tools and rehearsal methods are needed to enhance and maintain the Soldier’s emergency medical skills under stressful battlefield conditions. Such training methods should address an individual Soldier’s unique competencies and training needs and engage him or her in the training experience. These methods must also motivate the effective retention of procedural first-aid skills over time, which is crucial to reducing the number of preventable combat deaths.
The Charles River Analytics Solution
Charles River was chosen by the US Army Aeromedical Research Laboratory at Fort Rucker, Alabama, inventors of the training tool concept, to design and create PROMPTER to improve the retention of US Army Soldiers’ battlefield first-aid skills. Critical first-aid skills are represented in PROMPTER through simple, intuitive symbols that represent first-aid actions or emergency medical procedures, as seen here.
These symbols are then incorporated within a framework that aids long-term memorization of the first-aid procedures. These memorization aids are presented to Soldiers through adaptive microgames that provide an engaging gameplay experience tailored to a Soldier’s individual skills and training needs. Charles River made these games available to Soldiers through smartphone apps and web browsers that can be accessed from any location.
Charles River’s innovative approach combines visual task symbologies and microgames to enhance medical procedure training. Soldiers who are able to effectively perform these first-aid procedures under traumatic battlefield conditions can reduce the number of preventable combat deaths.
The views expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the US Government.
Top image – (U.S. Army photo by Volker Ramspott) (Released) https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/