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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Annual Disaster Day to be held Thursday for casualty training

Disaster+Day+includes+hundreds+of+volunteers+pretending+to+be+victims+of+a+disaster+so+students+can+practice+responding+in+an+emergency+capacity.
Photo by File

“Disaster Day” includes hundreds of volunteers pretending to be victims of a disaster so students can practice responding in an emergency capacity.

One of the largest student-run mass casualty disaster training exercises in the country will once again come to College Station as students studying nursing, medicine, pharmacy, veterinary medicine and biomedical sciences practice what they’re learning.                   
Disaster Day, which will be held Thursday at 9:30 a.m. at Central Baptist Church in College Station, brings more than 300 students and 400 community volunteers to participate in a casualty training exercise. Volunteers of past Disaster Days have staged simulations of hurricanes, chemical fires, wildfire scenarios and other mass casualty situations, and interdisciplinary student teams partner with community organizations to care for the simulated patients. Participants will not know what the simulated disaster is until the day of the event.                 
Erica Cashion, nursing senior and incident commander of the event, said Disaster Day is an opportunity for the participants to work with other professionals in a high stress situation.                 
“I think it’s going to be a really good interprofessional event,” Cashion said. “They are going to get to see how doctors, pharmacists and nurses really work together to take care of patients and then really practice not just one or two patients like we see in a hospital but just a large rush of patients.”                  
Nursing senior and deputy incident commander of fundraising and media, Emily Matos, said a large-scale event like this requires hours of planning and working between the various colleges involved.
“There were a lot of planning meetings and meetings with the colleges to include the educational aspect of the event,” Matos said. “Disaster Day is a really good way for people to have the opportunity to practice what that would be like in the chaos and make the mistakes then and work on them in case they are ever in the situation of caring for people in a disaster situation.”                   
The event is open to the public, and Beth Hudson, media chair and nursing senior, said it is a great opportunity or the College of Nursing to showcase what their students learn.            
“It’s a really great event to open the eyes [of the] community around us of what the College of Nursing is doing and who we are,” Hudson said. “Our professors consistently teach us in class about public healthcare, about bringing about the most good for the most amount of people, and that is what this event is about.”
The simulation will include local emergency response teams and will portray a chaotic and highly emotionally charged atmosphere.                      
“They don’t know the disaster until the day of, so it is a surprise for everyone,” Matos said. “It is going to be a really big educational experience for everyone and a lot of fun to watch.”                      
This year the event will also feature new patients that allow younger nursing and medical students to participate.                       
“In a real disaster situation, you are going to have patients that are displaced that have chronic conditions,” Cashion said. “They need medical attention, but they don’t need acute medical attention. We are letting the newer nursing students help take care of these patients to let them practice with long-term medical treatment instead of just the acute trauma type conditions.”                       
Hudson said she is excited to show what she has learned to the community and sharpen skills that will be vital in the event of a disaster.                      
“This is preparing us in case something were to happen in this community, we would be able to provide quality care for them,” Hudson said. “It also shows them that we are excited to learn, willing to help and are doing our best to be trained in the event that something does happen.”

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  • Nursing students and more will get an opportunity to test their skills as part of the mock event, Disaster Day.

    Photo by File

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