3 credit hours
Marilyn Pattillo, PhD, RN, NP
This course introduces the student to the various roles of nurses in mass casualty disasters. The causes and unique characteristics of disasters and their effects on communities will be presented. The nurses' participation in the multidisciplinary organizational and clinical management of disaster will be emphasized.
Class is open to undergraduate and graduate students in nursing. Minimum prerequisite is completion of J1 or consent of instructor.
Upon completion of this course, the student should be able to:
- Assess the health needs of individuals and populations related to mass casualty disasters.
- Interpret the role(s) of the nurse in relation to other team members in mass casualty disasters.
- Apply the nursing process to individuals, families, aggregates and communities experiencing mass casualty disasters.
- Analyze current literature and research related to disaster events.
- Analyze selected aspects of the catastrophic impact of disasters on the community and nation (e.g., ecological, social, political, terrorism).
- Demonstrate beginning nursing competencies related to the organization and management of disaster preparedness, response and recovery.
Teaching strategies will include didactic presentations, assigned readings, tabletop disaster scenario exercises in which graduate students will lead, simulation skill stations, class discussion, audiovisual aids, Internet searches, and expert guest speakers from different disciplines.
Class presentations will focus on content that should be provided to students regardless of specialty interests. The class will incorporate technology and student interactive projects.
Mock Disaster Drill: As part of the class a mock disaster response drill was held July 25, 2002 on the patio of the nursing school. Students, wearing protective clothing participated in a simulation of a patient extraction from a contaminated site. There also were stations set up to highlight the role of the nurse in preventing responder stress and safety. One student served as a public information officer and answered questions from the news media.
A scenario was set up specifically for the mock response drill: A tractor trailer had overturned on interstate highway 35 near the 12th Street exit in Austin. Five hundred gallons of the hazardous chemical, parathion, had spilled onto the interstate. Two occupants of the tractor trailer were injured and non-responsive. Winds were out of the southwest at 8-10 miles per hour.
Entry team member Michele Mata, a senior in nursing, is fitted with an oxygen mask and tank. In a real-life situation, the entry team would have the highest risk of exposure and require the most protective gear.
Simulated Disaster Drill Completed On Campus
The drill outside the Rapoport Building on Speedway Street was held on October 17, 2002, to test and strengthen the disaster preparedness procedures of the university and Austin area emergency response agencies. The drill brought together representatives from numerous campus, local, state and federal agencies.
Some of the participants included:
- University Police Department
- Physical Plant
- Environmental Health and Safety
- Austin Fire Department
- Emergency Operation Center
- Austin/Travis Co. EMS
- Austin Police Department
- Capital Metro
- Travis County Amateur Radio Services
- Austin/Travis County Health and Human Services
- Travis County Medial Examiner
- Travis County Medical Services Bureau
- Texas Department of Health
- Texas National Guard (6th Civil Support Team
- Texas Division of Emergency Management
- Texas National Resources Conservation Commission
- Department of Energy
- Secret Service
- FEMA Region VI
- Brackenridge Hospital
- Children's Hospital of Austin
- St. David's Hospital
- Seton Medical Center
- Seton Northwest
- Seton Southwest
- North Austin Medical Center
- South Austin Medical Center
- Heart Hospital
- Round Rock Hospital
- University Health Center
- American Red Cross
- Salvation Army
Logistics: Victims were moulaged at Mike Myers Stadium beginning at 10 a.m. the day of the event.
When the drill began, the victims were transported from Mike Myers Stadium to the event location. The University of Texas Police Department (UTPD) barricaded and taped off the scene of the event. Signs were posted that stated "Drill in Progress. Please Do Not Enter." Emergency entities were dispatched to respond (without sirens) in a staged sequence simulating their response if this were an actual event. Soon after the drill began, another group of victims was transported to area hospitals to test their emergency medical systems.
Students and other volunteers from the Austin community played the role of victims of the simulated disaster. Several students also played the role of news media photographers and reporters.
University officials said the drill was designed to determine how well prepared area emergency response agencies are to deal with a major emergency in the Austin area and how their procedures and those of the university can be improved. The drill also provided an opportunity for the agencies to train together and establish stronger working relationships.
More information about the drill can be found at the Office of the Vice President for Employee and Campus Services Web site.
For more information contact: Robert D. Meckel, Office of Public Affairs, 512-475-7847.