My name is Cyle Sprick. I am a paramedic, a biomedical engineer, and the director of the clinical simulation unit in the school of medicine at Flinders University in Adelaide, South Australia. This blog is a public forum where I intend to share my thoughts about simulation in healthcare education, particularly technical musings. I sometimes tell people that when I’m working on one of our manikins that “this is true plastic surgery”, hence the name of this blog.
My dad was in the Air Force and we moved around quite a bit as a kid. We lived in Colorado Springs and San Antonio for primary school, Anchorage Alaska for high school and I received a BS in Physics & Scientific Instrumentation & Biomedical Engineering from Carnegie Mellon in Pittsburgh in 1990.
I worked for a NASA contractor near Houston for 10 years as an engineer and project manager designing and building life support systems based on liquified air and oxygen for astronaut training under water, haz-mat and firefighting, and finally for a new Mars exploration suit. While doing some of our manned testing, I rekindled my interest in medicine and obtained Paramedic qualifications in 1996 and was a paramedic team leader for the League City Volunteer EMS.
I moved to Australia in 2000 and continued my paramedic work full time with the South Australian Ambulance Service in Adelaide. During this time I also expanded on my interest in education by working with the Ambulance Education Unit. in 2004, I met Prof Harry Owen who founded the Clinical Simulation Unit at Flinders University. I developed a twitching thumb add-on for SimMan to simulate neuromuscular blockade. In 2005 I started my PhD developing a suite of device emulators called SimTools that defines a wireless communications protocol for delivery of information between device emulators. I did all the circuit board design and fabrication as well as Windows, Windows CE and embedded C programming using Bluetooth. My PhD was awarded in 2010.
In 2008, I started full time with the Clinical Simulation Unit in the Flinders University School of Medicine, and assumed Director responsibilities in 2011. This role suits me very well at the overlap of medicine, education and engineering.