Texas A&M Health Trains Hundreds of Students on Mass Disaster Scenario | Your money


Texas A&M University’s Health Science Center (Texas A&M Health) today hosted its 14th annual Disaster Day, a student-led disaster simulation exercise involving hundreds of students from various health career programs.

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Texas A&M Health medical and nursing students attend to a patient during the annual disaster relief simulation. (Photo: Business Wire)

The training of health professionals in civil protection is becoming increasingly important. In 2021 alone, the United States experienced 20 natural disasters, ranging from fires to floods. These disasters not only cost the country billions of dollars, but also caused at least 688 direct or indirect deaths and hundreds of injuries, according to NOAA. Texas A&M Health has placed great emphasis on disaster response education for many years.

“Interprofessional disaster preparedness training has become an integral part of our curriculum,” said Christine Kaunas, EdD, MPH, executive director of interprofessional education and research at Texas A&M Health. “Our goal is to ensure that our health-care students are well-prepared for any medical situation they may encounter in their careers, and that may include triage in the middle of a hurricane, tornado or other emergency.”

Established by the Texas A&M College of Nursing and now in its 14th year, students from the Texas A&M Colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy and Public Health, as well as students in Athletic Training, Psychology and Veterinary Medicine and the Corps of Cadets attend the one-day event. Disaster Day also includes state agencies such as the Texas Department of Emergency Management, the Texas State Guard and the American Red Cross. The event will be held at Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service’s (TEEX) Brayton Fire Training Field and Disaster City, a premier 120-acre mock town serving as a responder training facility.

As a student-led event, more than 60 students from across Texas A&M work in a Student Planning Committee — under the guidance of a faculty and staff steering committee — to do everything from organizing student attendance and training to creating the case scenarios, that will occur during the event the drill.

“Disaster Day allows us to work interprofessionally,” said Makeda Asamnev, director of planning for Disaster Day and a third-year pharmacy student. “As students, we typically work in silos, so it’s exciting to work alongside other healthcare students at Texas A&M Health. It gives a better view of how healthcare professionals work together in this space.”

Each year a new scenario is chosen and kept secret until the day of the event to convey the realism of an unexpected situation. The simulated disaster for today’s event was wildfire. More than 750 students participated in disaster site triage, patient care in simulated field hospitals, and disaster management and simulation oversight at Disaster City’s Emergency Operations Training Center. New this year is an evacuation shelter where students learn about mental health care and needs assessment for people in crisis.

During the simulation, athletes, nursing and medical students slip into roles as patients or providers. Students who participate as patients are given makeup, known as moulage, to mimic injuries based on the current scenario. At the beginning of the exercise, patients act out the case assigned to them, while the students, acting as providers, first conduct field investigations and then transfer the patients to a field hospital for further diagnosis and treatment. Pharmacy students work with providers to determine the medications they need.

Due to the unpredictability of disasters, the simulations also include veterinary students studying animal issues and psychology students addressing patients suffering through mental distress. Public health students are managing the disaster and assessing environmental issues that could impact a wider area beyond the disaster site.

“It’s amazing to see the growth of this event over the years,” said Jon Mogford, PhD, Texas A&M Health’s chief operating officer and senior vice president. “Our partnership with organizations like the Texas Department of Emergency Management has given our students the opportunity to learn from experts and enhance their learning experience. We look forward to growing this event further and continuing to make Interprofessional Civil Protection Education a priority for our students.”

View source version on businesswire.com: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20220225005013/en/

Dee Dee Greys, [email protected] 979-436-0611



SOURCE: Texas A&M University Health

Copyright Business Wire 2022.

PUB: 02/25/2022 10:00 AM / DISC: 02/25/2022 10:02 AM


Copyright Business Wire 2022.

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