Disaster Simulation Comes to College Station For Healthcare Students

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COLLEGE STATION, Texas Thursday was a day of manufactured crisis for healthcare professional students and first responders with the Texas A&M Health Science Center and Blinn College.

Students and actors simulated a hurricane and tornado catastrophe to learn what to do if the real thing happened.

News 3 was there for this very realistic exercise.

A horrifying simulation sight but what could be a reality somewhere sometime.

Students studying to be doctors, nurses, paramedics and other disciplines were put to the test at the 7th annual Disaster Day at Central Baptist Church in College Station.

Actors had wounds from a hurricane along the Gulf and a simulated tornado at a local high school.

Ashley Dugan is a Nursing Student at the Texas A&M Health Science Center.

"It was a really great experience today. I think that the college putting us through a disaster scenario was really helpful and beneficial to us for our future careers," said Dugan.

Sami Rahman is the Blinn Simulation Director.

"This is an opportunity for them to be prepared for the future and the future. Could be tomorrow, we really we can't predict what the weather's going to do," said Rahman.

The simulation includes not only real people but real supplies as well. Nearly 300 students are participating.

"Well each nursing pair will have up to four patients, each physician will see up to five," said Laura Livingston, Assistant Director for the Clinical Learning Resource Center at the Texas A&M Health Science Center.

The simulation included a mobile medical unit and air medical helicopter evacuation.

Texas A&M Nursing Student Chelsea Knutson has seen three sides of this simulation before as an actor patient, a nursing student and now one of the incident commanders who helped organize this disaster day.

"I've learned a lot of about teamwork and what it means to be a part of a team and what it means to problem solve," she said.

"And that's part of what this is is learning to deal with everything that comes along. You can't save everybody, people die under the best of conditions," said Jerry Livingston, Ph.D., Assistant Professor in the College of Nursing at the Texas A&M Health Science Center.

A tough test to prepare for the real world.

The simulation included more than 500 patient actors, including infants, adults and high school students.