OSAN AIR BASE, South Korea --
Moulage, French for casting or molding, is a technique in which special effects makeup is used to create wounds and other realism effects in otherwise simulated environments. These types of special effects can be commonly seen in horror films or television shows to add dramatic effects. Nonetheless, it takes a makeup artist’s dedication and expertise to bring these effects to life.
While in high school, Senior Airman Kenyetta Oglesbe, 51st Medical Group air evacuation technician, stumbled across a YouTube video about special effects makeup that sparked her interest. She then took her newly gained skills from online tutorials and self-application hands-on training and used them to create lifelike injuries on patients for training scenarios.
“I have so much fun helping create moulage patients,” said Oglesbe. “It feels really good knowing my work helps medics and first responders train to better prepare themselves for real world situations. My job can become pretty stressful at times, so it doubles as a great stress reliever.”
Moulage is a way to provide the most realistic injury simulations possible. Instead of trainees imagining the patient has a traumatic brain injury, they are able to actually see what that injury might look like first-hand thanks to the moulage technique.
“We use moulage during training events, so we can create realistic scenarios for doctors and everyone involved,” said Oglesbe. “We can easily talk through different situations they may see, but it’s much more beneficial to see it themselves.”
Oglesbe said the patient’s simulated injuries are dictated by the needs of the medical trainers. The moulage technique enables her to create something as simple as a bruise or abrasion or something as complex as injuries seen in mass casualties such as burns or impalements.
“I think moulage training allows medical personnel to apply their skills in a unique and different training environment,” said Staff Sgt. Bradley Borytsky, 51st Operational Medical Readiness Squadron mental health technician. “Normally, they wouldn’t come across these injuries until an actual real-world scenario, so giving them the opportunity to hone those skills prior enables them to keep patients safer while also sharpening their skills.”
Training events involving wounds created utilizing the moulage technique provides a more accurate representative experience for medical personnel for what they may encounter down-range or during real-world medical emergencies.
“It’s a huge morale booster for me to be able to do something I love while helping medics and first responders train for real world situations.” said Oglesbe. “I’m really thankful I’m able to contribute to the mission by doing something I’m passionate about.”