Trying out trauma

NMU nursing students, ROTC cadets work simulated incidents

Northern Michigan University nursing students and ROTC members on Friday participate in a trauma simulation outside the West Science Building near Elizabeth Harden Drive. From left are Ann Clancy, a local nurse; Emily Campbell, a senior nursing student; Amy Kase, a senior nursing student; and Joseph Luke, a freshman ROTC cadet. (Journal photo by Christie Mastric)

MARQUETTE — Working a stressful situation as a simulation can go a long way to working it in a real-life scenario.

The Northern Michigan University School of Nursing and Reserve Officers Training Corps cadet programs on Friday held trauma simulations on the grassy areas outside the West Science Building near Elizabeth Harden Drive.

“It’s been successful,” said Kary Jacobson, a nursing instructor at NMU, about the simulations. “The students really like it, and so we change it up each semester, but we like to keep doing it.”

One activity was to involve a simulation of a gas explosion, she said, with field triage including ROTC cadets transporting the “victims” to a room downstairs in the building where nursing students would take over and continue the care.

Five mannequins were used in the simulations, each one having a different type of injury, she said.

For example, one mannequin had an amputated ankle, and the students had to learn how to treat that specific injury.

“The students get to rotate through and actually assess the injury, figure how they need to treat the injury. What’s the priority?” Jacobson said. “So for the nursing students, it’s really beneficial if they’re interested in trauma or they want to work in an emergency department.”

Jacobson pointed out that the nursing students will graduate in December, so “they’re ready to go.”

“We cover a lot of this stuff in class, but it’s always better and easier when you can see it in real life and you can actually put your hands on it and do it,” Jacobson said. “You tend to remember it better.”

On the ROTC side, the cadets perform a lot of first aid and trauma simulation for in the field or combat, she said.

“It’s just great that we can have the two collaborate and see what the other side does and how they will have to work together potentially someday,” Jacobson said.

Donald Clemons, a master sergeant with the U.S. Army and senior military instructor with NMU’s ROTC Wildcat Battalion, took part in the Friday’s event as well.

“We learn about basic first aid as part of our curriculum here at NMU for the military science,” Clemons said. “Now they get to actually take what they learned in the classroom and apply it out here.”

The ROTC cadets also worked with the nursing students, some of whom are part of his program, he said.

“This is just a good opportunity for two departments in the college to work together, and simulate training that young cadets would see actually in the real world as far as casualty events,” Clemons said. “Some of my young cadets are National Guardsmen. They’re reservists, so they see a casualty event like this, they get called up for it.”

The event, he said, also gave them the opportunity to work on the Army side and with the civilian side.

“We speak the same language, but we say different words,” said Clemons, who noted a situation sometimes involves translating how the Army would fill out paperwork, perform triage and treat a medical emergency to how it’s handled on the nurses’ side.

“This is kind of giving them practice to actually be able to work with an outside agency that’s not necessarily a military agency,” he said.


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