Mass casualty drill - A scary scene at St. Elizabeth College of Nursing

Annual mock mass-casualty disaster drill at the St. Elizabeth College of Nursing prepares nurses and doctors for a real life situation.

Posted: May 4, 2018 4:40 PM
Updated: May 4, 2018 6:33 PM

UTICA - It's happened once each May the past three years at the St. Elizabeth College of Nursing. The nursing student lab turns into a simulated emergency room filled with patients as a mock mass-casualty disaster drill fills the entire room with more than 60 people.


This year's mock disaster, held Friday morning, involved a pretend bus accident where patients with injuries filled the beds alongside the patients who were already in the simulated ER, such as an out of control mental health patient, a pregnant woman with complications, and a domestic violence patient where the issues between the couple involved actually continued in the simulated hospital.

Mock mass casualty disaster drill at the St. Elizabeth School of Nursing on Friday, May 4, 2018.

St. Elizabeth College of Nursing President Varinya Sheppard says this type of training is vital in the world we live in today, "We have to be ready, whether it’s something that happens with terrorism or this scenario, a bus accident, which is all realistic."

Kevin Koscinski, a nursing student about to graduate, describes the simulated scene as something that could easily happen in the real world once he graduates and gets a job in a hospital, "It’s a little hectic, it’s busy, it gets you really thinking like critical skills."

Sheppard says this simulation is very much like a real life situation because the doctors who are fulfilling their residency requirements at MVHS are involved in the drill, along with the nursing students, "It’s very valuable because in health care we don’t work independently as nurses, we don’t work independently as physicians, we work as a team, so this really helps bring it all together and be a collaborative effort."

Director of Medical Education Dr. Mark Warfel says this drill helps the MVHS residents prepare for a worst case scenario in working with nurses and what to expect, "This really helps prepare them to be ready to engage readily and to feel more confident in providing that care."

MVHS resident Dr. Greg Marra, who was one of the doctors attending to the patients, says this drill simulates real life events that happen all the time, "If you watch the news lately, you never know, it’s always good to be prepared."

Gradation day for the St. Elizabeth College of Nursing is set for Saturday, May 12th.

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