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Moulaging to educate

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Jaeda Tookes
  • 341st Missile Wing Public Affairs
For one Airman at Malmstrom, her passion for moulage began when she was placed in the position to teach medical training.

“I felt it had become routine for medics and other base personnel to simulate most situations and treatments of injuries,” said Tech. Sgt. Laura Pelkey, 341st Medical Operations Squadron family health flight chief. “I thought if I actually created lifelike injuries, it would teach military members to act, evaluate and treat more effectively.”

According to Tech. Sgt. Sheena Young, 341st MDOS dental assistant, training with moulage allows military members get the experience needed for treating different injuries.

“From treating glass in the skin to third-degree burns, the training allows us to perform better on the job,” Young said.

According to Pelkey, Airmen need to train for emergency situations so that they know how to react and focus on the treatment.

“I am a huge advocate of medical training,” she said. “(No one) can fully prepare someone or themselves for an actual emergency situation. By (moulaging), I have provided the tools and scenarios to help.”

Pelkey started moulaging October 2013, when she became NCO in charge of education and training.

“I am not certified in doing moulage, (but am self-taught),” Pelkey said. “I recreate injuries that I have seen in my career. Television shows and movies have also helped with providing me images of certain injuries I have not been exposed to in person.”

According to Pelkey, simulation exercises do not teach military members the critical thinking skills necessary in an emergency situation.

“I feel it is important to train as you would fight,” Pelkey said. “It is a very unsettling feeling at times (recreating injuries), but I feel satisfied at the end of the day knowing the training I provide can save a life, help inform and educate people on consequences of one’s actions.”

Pelkey plans to retire from the Air Force in the next six months, with plans to continue training and educating others.

“I appreciate everyone’s time and interest with what I have done here at Malmstrom over the years,” Pelkey said. “My passion for my job shines through while I educate and train, which has made me a better medic in helping others reach their full potential.”