Nursing Students Prepare for Disaster

A group of students attending classes at a community college received first-hand training on an important skill area recently: trauma and disaster response. The students are in their second year of nursing school and used a simulated disaster scenario to put their skills to the test handling disaster emergencies in Indiana. Thanks to help from the Medical Reserve Corps and Tippecanoe County Health Department, the Ivy Tech’s School of Nursing students participated in the mock drill – complete with patients:

“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 DepartmentIvy 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 from Indiana 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.” (Read more at

Emergency nursing training is one of the many puzzle pieces that fit together to create a well-rounded professional. Even though it is critical for nursing students who will eventually enter the field as trauma room personnel, it is important for any type of nurse professional. Nursing homes, hospital procedural wings, and physicians are all on-call and in-demand in time of disasters.