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Trauma response training held at Northern Michigan University

Northern Michigan University student John Walker prepares a tourniquet to apply to a mannequin patient during a trauma response training event outside of NMU’s Seaborg Center on Friday. (Journal photo by Katie Segula)

MARQUETTE — Equipped with N-95 protective masks, surgical masks and face shields, Northern Michigan University’s Reserve Officers’ Training Corps and nursing students joined together just outside of the Seaborg Center at Northern Michigan University on Friday for trauma response training.

Bringing the two departments together allows the students a hands-on approach to medical response and experience with responder communications, organizers said.

Kary Jacobson, a nursing instructor at NMU, shared her experience with the training.

“This is a great way for senior nursing students to get to learn all different types of trauma care,” Jacobson said. “Depending on where they work, that might be very helpful. And working with other disciplines is also a part of nursing, so that is why partnering with military science is really helpful with getting that done.”

Master Sgt. Donald Clemens showed the nursing students his U.S. Army-issued first aid kit, equipped with tourniquets, a nasopharyngeal airway tube, duct tape, rubber gloves, packing gauze and quick clot gauze.

Northern Michigan University nursing student Laura Norton practices assessing a trauma victim during a trauma response training event outside of NMU’s Seaborg Center on Friday. (Journal photo by Katie Segula)

“A combat life-saver has a bag that has a lot more of this stuff, they are one step away from a medic, their job is to assist the medic,” Clemens said. “Basically, a combat medic is the army’s version of an emergency medical technician, maybe a little bit more training than an EMT.”

Once divided into five groups for the five mannequins that students would practice on, they circled around the “victim” and started assessments.

ROTC students studied the scene while a nursing student practiced speaking clearly while delivering instructions to the mannequin that posed as a “victim,” saying: “We are going to put a tourniquet on you. It is going to be painful so I want you to take some deep breaths.”

A tourniquet is then applied to a mock amputated leg — complete with red dye and 12-inch pieces of rope — by another student.

Black streaks could be seen across the snow around five feet away, simulating residue of an explosion with black dye.

Another group of students huddled around another mannequin leaned up against a tree with a broken foot.

All the mannequins had different types of injuries, which gave the students a chance to experience different tools, steps and procedures.

NMU officials had discussed preparations for COVID-19 safety, deciding that staying outdoors — along with wearing appropriate personal protection equipment — would be worth the activity’s benefits to the students.

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