Drill gives dis­as­ter train­ing to Wi­dener nurs­ing stu­dents

Daily Times (Primos, PA) - - NEWS - By Loretta Rodgers Times Cor­re­spon­dent

CH­ESTER » More than 125 Wi­dener Univer­sity se­nior nurs­ing stu­dents on Thurs­day par­tic­i­pated in a live dis­as­ter sim­u­la­tion held on cam­pus.

The ma­jor­ity of the stu­dents were un­aware of plans for the ex­ten­sive drill as they sat in a lec­ture hall. Their day was pro­gress­ing as usual un­til about 10 a.m. when a school bus “col­lided “with a pas­sen­ger ve­hi­cle in front of the univer­sity cen­ter on 14th street.

“We were learn­ing about dis­as­ters and how to re­spond when the ac­ci­dent oc­curred,” said nurs­ing stu­dent Cristy Cabr­era. “The lec­turer was ex­plain­ing how coding works dur­ing a cri­sis and how to prop­erly tag vic­tims by the ex­tent of their in­juries. When the alarm sounded we all ran from the hall to go and help who we thought were real vic­tims. It is amaz­ing how quickly every­thing hap­pened and how fast as­sess­ments are done.”

Dawn Ferry, APRN, direc­tor of the Wi­dener School of Nurs­ing Sim­u­la­tion Lab, said the drill, which is in its sec­ond year, is an op­por­tu­nity for stu­dents to gain un­der­stand­ing of pro­to­cols in place for dis­as­ter sit­u­a­tions.

“With so many re­cent nat­u­ral dis­as­ters and emer­gen­cies in the United States, stu­dent nurses must be pre­pared at any moment,” Ferry said. “Some stu­dents may never see a dis­as­ter, but oth­ers may face one in their daily lives. As nurses, it’s im­por­tant they are pre­pared and know how to use their skills and train­ing in any sit­u­a­tion.”

Prior to the sim­u­la­tion, some stu­dents were des­ig­nated as vic­tims, com­plete with make-up, while oth­ers were on­look­ers. For the most part, the ma­jor­ity of stu­dents and staff were un­aware of the drill.

“I came out of my of­fice and saw the fire­men and smoke,” said Kelly McGrath, food pro­duc­tion man­ager for Ara­mark. “I thought it was a real ac­ci­dent and came out to see if I could help. I’m sure this is very use­ful to the nurs­ing stu­dents.”

To add to the re­al­ity of the event, in ad­di­tion to the nurs­ing stu­dents, emer­gency ve­hi­cles from Delaware County, Crozer-Ch­ester Med­i­cal Cen­ter, Ch­ester po­lice of­fi­cers and fire­fight­ers also re­sponded, us­ing the Jaws of Life..

“Vic­tims” were rel­e­gated to triage units based on the sever­ity of their in­juries and were trans­ported to Croz­erCh­ester Med­i­cal Cen­ter and Tay­lor Hos­pi­tal.

Fol­low­ing the morn­ing ses­sion, all stu­dents par­tic­i­pated in a de­brief­ing panel dis­cus­sion with nurs­ing pro­fes­sors, which fo­cused on all ar­eas of triage from trauma con­trol to men­tal health.


A Wi­dener Univer­sity nurs­ing stu­dent, por­tray­ing an ac­ci­dent vic­tim, waits for help on a school bus that was in­volved in a “col­li­sion” with a car.


Wi­dener Univer­sity nurs­ing stu­dents as­sess an ac­ci­dent vic­tim dur­ing the re­al­is­tic dis­as­ter sim­u­la­tion that took place on cam­pus Thurs­day morn­ing.

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