The School of Nursing in cooperation with UD Emergency Care Unit and UD Police featured their first disaster drill that simulated an explosion in Trabant University Center, where 100 students and a dozen faculty and staff helped to create the mock incident.
The goal of the drill is to teach students the basics of triage as students applied their assessment skills and understood the importance of communication during an emergency. It is important that all nurses in all specialties be prepared to care for people affected by disasters since they are not planned. This experience allows students to have a feel for what it is like to receive multiple casualities and to be involved in multiple casualty incidents.
During the drill, freshman and sophomore nursing students are utilized to take vitals, apply oxygen and help transport patients from the scene of the incident to the makeshift hospitals in the nursing laboratories. Others were used to create a mass-casualty as simulated patients suffering from life threatening injuries or interfering with patient care. Juniors assist the primary nurse by performing assessments and administering care to the victims as seniors gain experience in triaging patients, delegating responsibility, performing assessments and administering care to victims.
The first disaster drill was such a success that a new and improved disaster drill will be performed in each upcoming semester with added community and state participation.
Quote from a current sophomore student, Pam Feld, to Lab Coordinator Amy Cowperthwait:
"I had been meaning to e-mail you this summer but I just wanted to tell you how much the disaster drill you put together last semester helped me this summer. I thought the drill was interesting, but never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that I would actually rely on that information at work this summer. I worked in the ER of Bellevue Hospital in NYC and when our disaster phone rang the day the steam pipe exploded, it was a complete panic. I really felt prepared because of the drill and I was able to understand what was going on when all the people came in with the tags around their necks and the whole disaster procedure. I was thrown in a Hazmat suit and I helped shower the people covered in asbestos. The way the ER ran that day was very similar to the drill we ran last spring and I just wanted to thank you and let you know that because I found it very useful. Thanks"