Concrete and Mettle

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Disaster Simulation Sims Disaster Drill Tests Students

Without warning, screams and cries for help from the second floor of the Anne M. Pinkard Building brought nursing students scrambling toward a room filled with casualties of the sort that require quick action, quicker thinking, and an enormous amount of cool, especially when the media show up.

In the simulated crisis orchestrated by Sandy Swoboda, MS, RN, and Maggie Neal, PhD, RN, a tornado had struck a high-rise assisted living facility, pouring debris from the damaged roof onto the residents. Diane Aschenbrenner, MS, RN, and the simulation team created the realistic environment, including applying makeup to the “victims” to make it appear as though they had been impaled, cut, or bruised by falling objects. As a team, students worked to quickly assess and treat injuries and clear a path through actual rubble for those who could be transported to a safer triage site.

Though the simulation made for great theater and good fun, Swoboda and Neal were also pleased with the students’ performance. They stressed the serious work of preparing nurses ready to lead on a second’s notice, and how invaluable the sims experience can be.

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