University of South Florida

Emergency preparedness simulation trains students across USF Health

USF Health students participated in the first critical incident and emergency preparedness simulation training Nov. 10, giving them a full-day of learning, planning and training for a potential emergency situation or a natural disaster in a realistic simulation exercise.

The interprofessional health educational training, held Nov. 10 at USF Nursing, included about 20 students from each USF Health college, including College of Nursing, Morsani College of Medicine, College of Public Health, College of Pharmacy and School of Physical Therapy. The group was separated into four parts: First aid session, emergency plan development, communication session and simulation exercise.

USF Health simulation training

As part of this exercise, students responded to a tornado scene that had occurred on campus where more than 20 people had been injured or killed – as a result of a near-miss hurricane. The simulation was set up at different stations and in separate rooms using standardized patients (played by actors) and mannequins. Students were required to provide various levels of care using triage and teamwork.

“Working as a team with students from other health disciplines in a chaotic situation, was valuable beyond measure,” said Tanner Wright,  USF Health Morsani College of Medicine student. “We not only learned how to effectively provide care for the patients, but also create mini teams, a leader and a communication plan that helped us allocate resources easier and faster – where they were needed.”

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“I have no experience in disaster, so I learned everything; how to approach the situation, how to triage, what to look at, recognize the patients’ level of conciseness and how to work as a team,” said Cristin Bradley, USF College of Nursing student. “Communication is the biggest thing!”

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Faculty and staff from all USF Health colleges, under the leadership of Rita D’Aoust, PhD, associate dean for academic affairs and director for interprofessional initiatives at USF Nursing, worked closely together to develop an effective simulation training that helps prepare students from all healthcare disciplines to properly respond to emergency situations together as one team.

“We’re proud to be one of the few universities in the country to provide this type of training for students across all health disciplines,” Dr. D’Aoust said. “Our goal was to properly prepare students for disaster scenarios and give them general knowledge about basic first response, preparation, team work and communication. And I think we accomplished that with this exercise.”

Video by Ryan Noone, USF College of Nursing
Photos by Eric Younghans, USF Health Communications, and Ryan Noone, USF College of Nursing

For more photos from the simulation training click here.

usf health simulation excercise

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