ISU Nursing Students Train for Disaster


In partnership with Life Line and other local first responders, the mass casualty simulation gave nursing students an idea of what happens in the event of a disaster. This including hands-on response training.

It was an incredible learning day for Jackie Lanthier. The Indiana State University nursing student was among many who benefited from the mass casualty drill.

“We get to see how other people are working, and what their part is and helping them get to the hospital for us to do our job as nurses,” said Lanthier.

Trevor Wise is a fellow junior at ISU, but on this day, he played a burn victim to help nursing students like Lanthier go through disaster training. He was chosen for the simulation since he is an aviation student, and the training requires someone familiar with planes.

“What I do is I sit in the plane and then as soon as the drill starts, the nursing students come out and check to see my vitals and everything like that. And they determine whether or not i need to be taken by life line or an ambulance,” Wise said.

Part of the training included flying in a chopper to demonstrate the steps that need to be taken to save a pilot in need of medical attention. A trauma surgeon stepped in to go through the motions.

Clinical faculty overseeing the training say the best thing about it is it gives students an active role-playing situation where they can make mistakes and learn. Additionally, students have the opportunity to learn outside of a hospital setting.

Terri Moore, Clinical Faculty at ISU says, “the greatest population of medical responders are nurses. So nurses are often called to respond in the event of a disaster. Or a mass casualty incident. So we feel like this experience gives our students the confidence and some of the skills to respond in that actual situation in real life.”

The training nursing students received in this simulation is part of a requirement by the state of Indiana that mandates nurses are competent in disaster preparedness and response.

The big take-away students said they had from today was understanding that situations can escalate quickly. They say it’s important to stay calm and focus on what they have been taught.

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