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Nursing students and first responders participate in mock tornado exercise to prepare in event of real storm

(Source KSWO) (Source KSWO)
(Source KSWO) (Source KSWO)

LAWTON, OK (KSWO)- Comanche County Memorial Hospital held a mock tornado disaster exercise today with nursing students and first responders to help prepare them in the event of a real storm.

Because of the rain, the drill was moved inside, where nursing students from Oklahoma University, Oklahoma State University, Cameron University, and Great Plains Great Technology Center pretended to be injured victims, while local emergency crews worked with hospital staff to care for them.

The exercised was supervised by hospital staff to understand how they can improve their response.

The students gained so much information because soon they will be the employees working in the hospital taking care of  patients. They got to see hands-on how CCMH employees responded to emergencies, and the hospital staff took note of the various ways they can improve their own work-flow.

Student Josie Manley was one of the 15 victims--struck in the head by some metal debris, and was rushed to the hospital. She said she learned several things that will help prepare her.

"How to handle the disaster, the procedure for once you get into the emergency room, how they triage you, and they give you either red, yellow, or green, and that classifies where you are going to go," Manley.

Anna Driggers was another student victims, and said she paid close attention to the way the various first responders interacted.

 "It seems like that the better the communication is the better it goes so going from the EMT and communicating with the emergency room, communicating with the operation room was really important in order for me to get the services I needed in time,"Driggers said.

Comanche County Memorial Registered Nurse ReChelle Walters helped encode information from Kirk's EMS and relayed it back to other departments which included how fast the patients were coming in and what kind of injuries they suffered from. Walters says the mock exercise is less nerve-wracking for nurses than other departments.

"Because that's what we do on a daily basis. We triage patients  when the come in the door whether they come through the lobby, through the back entrance through an ambulance. We triage those patients everyday," Walters.

Leann Legako served as an evaluator. She said they learned more about how the command centers work, and how to clarify the various roles and responsibilities of everyone involved.

"We are really going to focus on good communication. I think we found that we really need to go a better job at getting communications from our different departments so we are going to be looking at ways to handle that, maybe the logistics of where our command center is , maybe if we need to move to different areas," Legako said.

After today's exercise, the nursing students had to take a test on the different roles they played and what they might do differently in an emergency situation.

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