Nursing students hold simulation exercise

Towson at USMH students react to mock multivehicle wreck during snowstorm

December 16, 2012
  • Melissa Hanky, a Towson University nursing student at USMH, participates in a leadership simulation exercise involving a mock multivehicle wreck during a snowstorm.
Submitted photo

Recently, Towson University at the University System of Maryland at Hagerstown held a leadership simulation for its senior nursing students.

The faculty at the Hagerstown campus regularly offers simulation exercises to their students as part of the nursing curriculum.

This month, Towson at USMH will graduate 13 students in its second winter graduating class.

The students will receive a bachelor of science degree in nursing.

Throughout their program at USMH, students are required to participate in simulations as part of the curriculum.

In the early courses, students engage in a basic-skills and foundations simulation, a medical surgical exercise and a high-risk obstetrics simulation.

As instructor Kathy Rabon said, “Students always have to incorporate the nursing process in every simulation—access the situation, make a plan, implement and evaluate.”

In this particular simulation, students were given the scenario of a multivehicle highway collision that occurred during a snowstorm.

As a result, many of the injured were being transported to a small hospital where the students were working.

Due to the weather, staff and resources were limited, and the majority of the hospital beds were already filled.

The students were given particular roles within a simulated emergency department, intensive care unit, labor and delivery unit or medical surgical unit.

The students’ task was to quickly develop a plan to care for the current and incoming waves of patients.

“The purpose of this leadership simulation is collaboration. Students need to prioritize, collaborate with peers to make decisions, and use SBAR, or Situation Background Assessment Recommendation,  the process to share patient information in a concise and structured format, for reporting,” said Judy Breitenbach, Towson at USMH nursing program coordinator.

When the exercise was completed, instructors Rabon and Breitenbach led the group in a debriefing. Overall, students found it to be a productive exercise.

Student Thomas Mensah said, “It felt real. It showed you have to be ready anytime.”

Fellow student Rebecca Ly said, “This is a good introduction of emergency preparedness to encounter a situation that we may need to face in our future careers.”

This was the first leadership simulation held on the Hagerstown campus, and Rabon said it would continue in future classes, perhaps on an even bigger scale.

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