Nursing students got a taste of what they might experience if working in emergency care, during a mass casualty drill held at Lee University Wednesday.Around 40 "victims," some with more serious …
Nursing students got a taste of what they might experience if working in emergency care, during a mass casualty drill held at Lee University Wednesday.
Around 40 "victims," some with more serious simulated injuries, were cared for by the nursing students. During the event, the Lee University School of Nursing was dubbed the Lee University Medical Center.
The scenario, developed by the Cleveland/Bradley Emergency Management Agency, was an active shooter at the Summit apartments, at the intersection of Inman Street and Ocoee Street. The majority of the "victims" were from the fire set by the shooter.
"The concept of this exercise is to test the student's abilities and their decision-making process during a mass casualty emergency incident of this size," stated the scenario developed by the EMA's Jerry Johnson. "This exercise is designed as a practical informational exercise, to assist all participants in understanding the roles and responsibilities of each staff member during an emergency as it pertains to the handling of large numbers of patients during a surge in the emergency room."
The scope of simulated injuries ranged from minor burns or cuts from flying glass, to fatalities. While most of the action during the drill dealt with emergency care for the injured, but included at least two nursing students who served as psychological personnel, not only to speak with patients or families of those injured or killed, but also to students in the nursing program who were affected by the magnitude of casualties.
"We have about 40 people portraying injured patients who will be seen by the nursing students," said Dr. Brenda Jones, Assistant Professor of Nursing at Lee, who portrayed the hospital administrator during the drill. "These students will have the opportunity during the drill to come face-to-face with people who have been displaced or are near death, to test their skills."
This is the second mass casualty drill the School of Nursing has conducted, with 15 of the nursing students just days away from graduation.
Jones said that she was pleased with the drill Wednesday, as she was during the first drill earlier this year.
"Research has shown that having simulated events such as this help prepare students for what they may experience when they begin their careers in nursing," she said. "It is a vital part of their educational experience in our program."
While EMA personnel and Emergency Medical Technician/ambulance service providers donated their time to assist in the drill (one as far away as serving with an ambulance service in Marietta, Ga.), students from other departments also participated.
Drama class students portrayed many of the injured parties, and journalism students worked with experts in learning how to present information to the public. These students were advised of the HIPAA regulations that control any information being released.
The drill lasted about an hour and a half, then the students were brought in for a recap and analysis of the event by Jones and the nursing school staff, and EMA personnel.
"We feel this is very important to these students, and will continue to hold such drills in the future," Jones said.
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