Disaster drill allows nursing students to learn through practice

May 13, 2011 | Applied and Natural Sciences, General News

More than two dozen senior nursing students from Louisiana Tech had a chance to help various community agencies in a recent disaster drill.
Basing the drill on what would happen if Freon leaked and contaminated food at a party, students from Nursing 216 served as victims for the Ruston Fire Department, Pafford Ambulance Service and Northern Louisiana Medical Center employees.
“The students learned the method of how to triage a large number of people at one time, how they decide who goes first,” said Shirley Payne, an associate professor of nursing. “It’s also a learning experience of how to collaborate with community agencies.”
The students were also allowed to sit in on the debriefing at the end of the day, Payne said.
“It was a real learning experience and they had good questions at the end,” she said. “The students loved it. They loved being the actors and actresses, but it was a learning and collaborative effort. We plan to have more drills in the future.”