Disaster simulation prepares future nurses

(The Pine Log)  On Thursday students from the SFA School of Nursing met with nursing students from UT-Tyler and participated in the first collaborative disaster simulation.

These simulations help prepare students for real-life disaster situations and teach them how to take care of victims and how to evacuate properly.

“You saw the (effects) of Hurricane Sandy,” Dr. Della Connor, assistant professor in the nursing department, said. “We have to know how to evacuate people and how to take care of the sick.”
On Thursday, the SFA students dressed as victims of a wildfire and were driven to the UT-Tyler campus. Once there, the Tyler nursing students treated them as actual victims of a fire.

The role of nurse and victim will switch off every semester. Victims are dressed to look like the part, and in this past simulation, the SFA students played the elderly or mentally ill.

In the past, the School of Nursing and School of Theatre teamed up to practice how to help victims of disasters. The school has done simulations of hurricanes, chemical spills, fires and building explosions.

Dr. Jeni Chilton, a clinical instructor at the UT-Tyler School of Nursing, collaborated with Connor to produce this simulation.

“We were both looking for ways that we could get the experience that our community nursing students needed for a disaster simulation, and we brainstormed this,” Connor said.

About 60 SFA nursing students participated in the disaster simulation. The School of Nursing has around 460 students, and each student will have to be involved in a simulation during their studies.

The Community Nursing course is the class involved in the simulation, and the Community Nursing in Management course at UT-Tyler is the corresponding class.

In the simulation that will take place in the spring, UT-Tyler students will travel to the SFA campus. The SFA students will be the nurses, and the Tyler students will play the victims.