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Blinn Health Science students to gain first-hand experience in disaster simulation

Blinn partners with Texas A&M Health Science Center for 250-patient simulation March 20

March 7, 2014

More than 200 Blinn College students will use their healthcare expertise to aid more than 250 patients in a single day. The injuries may be simulated, designed specifically to test students’ skills in a high-pressure environment, but the learning opportunity will be very real.

“We want our students to be ready for any type of disaster,” said Sami Rahman, director of simulation at Blinn’s Health Science Center campus. “As a healthcare provider, it is necessary to respond quickly and effectively no matter the situation.”

More than 200 students from the College’s nursing, radiology, emergency medical services and physical therapist assistant programs will complete the simulation at Central Baptist Church in College Station alongside students from Texas A&M University Health Science Center on March 20.

Disaster Day began at Texas A&M with 20 students whose ailments were written on paper and stuck to their limbs. Over the past seven years, the event has developed into a true-to-life simulation with several hundred volunteers acting as patients.

Students design the entire simulation, including the details of patients’ injuries, which can be crafted using makeup, casting and molding.

“I’m looking forward to seeing how everyone works together,” said Nicole Burgos, a second-semester Blinn nursing student and member of the supplies committee. “This is a great event that gives us hands-on catastrophe experience before we begin our careers.”

The event includes one apiece in the morning and afternoon, with drills both indoors and outdoors. Students debrief with faculty members after each simulation to evaluate their patient care.

“With this experience students learn that collaboration and communication help them give better patient care,” said Smiley Flores, Blinn’s Dean of Health Sciences. “The effort it takes to assist each other in an emergency situation—they have found that to be an eye-opener. If they can communicate well, the patient will see the benefits.”

Blinn’s Division of Health Sciences, based at the Texas A&M Health Science Center, offers associate degree nursing, dental hygiene, emergency medical services, physical therapist assistant, radiologic technology, fire science, therapeutics manufacturing, veterinary technology and vocational nursing programs designed to quickly train students for high-demand professions.