National Implementation of In Situ Simulation-Based Training in Helicopter Emergency Medical Services: A Multicenter Study

Air Med J. Jul-Aug 2021;40(4):205-210. doi: 10.1016/j.amj.2021.04.006. Epub 2021 May 20.


Objective: Medical simulation is used in helicopter emergency services as a tool for training the crew. Using in situ simulation, we aimed to evaluate the degree of implementation, the barriers to completing simulation training, and the crew's attitude toward this form of training.

Methods: This was a 1-year prospective study on simulation at all 14 Norwegian helicopter emergency services bases and 1 search and rescue base. Local facilitators were educated and conducted simulations at their discretion.

Results: All bases agreed to participate initially, but 1 opted out because of technical difficulties. The number of simulations attempted at each base ranged from 1 to 46 (median = 17). Regardless of the base and the number of attempted simulations, participating crews scored self-evaluated satisfaction with this form of training highly. Having 2 local facilitators increased the number of attempted simulations, whereas facilitators' travel distance to work seemed to make no difference on the number of attempted simulations.

Conclusion: Our study reveals considerable differences in the number of attempted simulations between bases despite being given the same prerequisites. The busiest bases completed fewer simulations than the rest of the bases. Our findings suggest that conditions related to the local facilitator are important for the successful implementation of simulation-based training in helicopter emergency services.