Nursing students get close-up disaster response training

(JConline.com) Second-year nursing students at Ivy Tech Community College got a hands-on feel about how to work with patients Tuesday during a mock disaster drill.

In conjunction with the Medical Reserve Corps and Tippecanoe County Health Department, Ivy Tech’s School of Nursing conducted the drill to train students on how to respond to mass casualties. First-year nursing students acted as the victims.

Previously the training was held at the Lafayette Fire Training Center, said Tilara Treece, Tippecanoe County emergency preparedness coordinator for the Health Department.

This was the first time the drill was held at the Ivy Tech campus.

The students weren’t the only ones being tested.

Franciscan St. Elizabeth Health safety officer Vicky Snipes said she and Tom Fuson fromIndiana University Health were present to watch the flow of traffic and to judge the resources and capacity of such an alternate site, which would be created if area hospitals filled and there was patient overflow from a disaster.

“It’s very organized. It’s a great asset that we have to support our facility,” Snipes said. Hospital representatives also were there to help them simulate dismissals and transfers to other hospitals.

Well-prepared

School of Nursing faculty member Jessica Jaeger said students practiced triage, a way to categorize patients based on level of injury.

Casey Lamb is a second-year nursing student who expects to graduate in May. He and his mother, LouAnn Lamb, also a second-year nursing student, tended to injuries both physical and emotional as they moved between patients, checking blood pressure and wrapping fake gashes.

“They did a really good job preparing us the last couple days,” Lamb said. He and fellow students attended Red Cross disaster trainings and spoke with responders who helped in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy on the East Coast.

Lamb hopes to be a perioperative nurse — an assistant in the operating room — after he graduates.

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