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Penn State nursing and forestry students practice trauma scenario

April 27, 2012|By ROXANN MILLER | roxann.miller@herald-mail.com
  • Penn State Mont Alto student nurse Dawn Dellinger and a Waynesboro Hospital physician assistant, acting as ER physician, render medical treatment for mock patient Jason Owings, forestry student, during Friday's trauma-scenario at the campus.
By Roxann Miller

MONT ALTO, Pa. — “Help, I’m hurt,” screamed Jason Owings, who laid in the woods reeling in pain from a wound to his left arm.

The scene looked and sounded real, but it wasn’t. It was part of trauma-scenario training on Friday at Penn State Mont Alto.

Now in its third year, the drill gives Penn State nursing and forestry students a chance to team with local agencies to put into practice what they learn in the classroom.

Campus coordinator for nursing programs Carranda Barkdoll said this year’s event added a little more to the activity by having two injured forestry students instead of one.

“These guys (forestry students) go out in the woods and do (tree) harvesting every year, and they have first aid and CPR training,” Barkdoll said. “We decided to do an event in the forest to find out how they will react.”

Owings, a forestry student from Shippensburg, Pa., along with the nursing department’s mobile human simulation patient iStan were the two forestry victims.

When a large tree limb fell during harvesting, iStan sustained a head injury, a chainsaw laceration and an injury to his pelvis and hip.

A panicked Owings went hurriedly to get equipment to help iStan when he fell and injured his left arm.

Five registered nurses to bachelor’s degree nursing students, 44 associate degree-nursing students and 20 forestry students teamed up with emergency services personnel to gain hands-on experience through the activity.

The Penn State Hershey Life Lion helicopter, Mont Alto EMS, Mont Alto Fire Department, Fayetteville Fire Department, South Mountain, Franklin Fire Company, the Pennsylvania Bureau of Forestry, Penn State Hershey Life Lion Critical Care Transport, Franklin County EMA, Waynesboro Hospital Emergency Department and Waynesboro Advanced Life Support Service participated in the exercise.

“This is very much a campus-community event. We involved a lot of people,” Barkdoll said.

After emergency crews removed Owings from the woods adjacent to the Penn State campus, he was taken to Mont Alto Hospital’s emergency room, which normally is classroom 114 of the Science and Technology building.

Owings said the drill has provided good training for him when the forestry students take part in this summer’s harvesting camp.

“We’ll be around machinery and if something would happen to one of our classmates, I will know how to respond,” Owings said. “It’s always best to react calmly and not to overreact in an emergency.”

Dawn Dellinger, a nursing student from New Oxford, Pa., worked at Owings bedside during the drill.

“I was afraid I would be very worked up and the adrenaline would be rushing. I was surprised at how calm I was in the situation,” Dellinger said.

Second year nursing student Carissa Harmon of Littlestown, Pa., said the drill was very helpful.

“It helps us better prepare in the best way we can,” Harmon said. “This is as close as we can get to an actual trauma situation.”

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