Simulated scenarios test the skills of Blinn nursing, EMS, radiologic tech students

Two-day simulation exercise trains students in real-world emergency scenarios

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A young male motorcycle accident victim lay moaning on the ground as students in the Blinn College District’s Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Program arrived by ambulance and rushed into action.

This was just one of the numerous scenarios featuring actor-patients that confronted students in Blinn’s EMS, Associate Degree Nursing (ADN), and Radiologic Technology programs during a two-day simulation event held recently at the RELLIS Campus. Held in the field and in the simulation labs of the RELLIS Academic Complex, the exercises thrust students into critical environments that required them to rely on their extensive training and communication skills to help patients.

“We don’t always get these opportunities, even in our clinical days,” ADN student Sarah Lambert said. “They are throwing things at us today, making us think outside the box, which has been amazing.”

Nursing students sprang into action as EMS transferred the motorcycle victim to their care. Students grappled with the complex decisions potentially awaiting them in real emergency room situations as they assessed injuries, determined the patient’s name by finding his identification, and confiscated illegal drugs.

Radiologic technology students maneuvered purposefully alongside their nursing counterparts to X-ray the victim and provide a complete review of his condition. This exercise encompassed the collaborative efforts needed across channels in these extreme situations.

“These progressive simulations are so important to our students because in this laboratory they get the opportunity to do even more than what they would be exposed to in a clinical setting,” said Denise Guadagnino, simulation specialist at the RELLIS Campus. “This relocation to RELLIS has been great because we’ve been able to break out of the walls and use the physical landscape as a training tool. As we repeat these exercises, we are able to reevaluate the objectives and give our students hands-on experience in whatever they’re going to be doing when they leave our doors.”

Other scenarios included a window washer fall, a patient experiencing cardiac distress recovered from his home, a premature baby recovered shortly after birth, a gunshot victim, and a psychiatric patient suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. The four-hour immersive simulations were repeated four times with different student groups over two days, emphasizing a hands-on collaborative experience between initial responders, nursing staff, and other hospital departments.

“This exercise gave me more experience with trauma and the nursing students. We worked together and the nurses were able to see what we actually do as well,” said Shelby Clever, a second-year radiologic technology program student. “I really enjoyed interacting with the nursing students and learning from each other as well as teaching them what we go through with radiation and other issues.”

Simulation exercises are a vital part of student training in Blinn’s Division of Health Sciences. Designed to complement the clinical experience Blinn students receive in area hospitals, the 16,000-square-foot Simulation and Clinical Labs at the RELLIS Academic Complex feature the latest tools and technology available. This commitment to active learning, coupled with dedicated faculty, has made Blinn’s health sciences programs leaders in their respective fields.

For more information about Blinn’s division of health sciences, visit www.blinn.edu/health-sciences.

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