Journal of Nursing

Student Nurses Tested in MassCass Simulation


By Chistin Nance Lazerus

The room looked like a bomb hit. Chairs were upturned, ceiling tiles were knocked out, and the roof looked like it had caved in. And amid the wreckage, seriously injured people screamed for help.

Nurses Jo Newman and Crystal Shannon rushed more than a dozen Indiana University Northwest nursing students into the fray on Friday morning. Though admittedly overwhelmed by the situation, the students quickly made a beeline for the crying victims, including transporting one man by lifting him with a sheet, checking vital signs and trying to calm them.

Shannon warned the students that the scene might be contaminated, and ...

Then, 10 minutes into the harried scene, Shannon yelled “Stop!” The mass casualty exercise was over and the “victims” slowly rose to their feet.

The exercise, which was run three times on Friday, allows students to find out how they respond to a crisis, Shannon said.

“It’s more a learning opportunity than a test for the students,” Shannon said. “We get to see them make critical judgment calls.”

Shannon asked students to analyze their strengths and weaknesses and offer advice to other students. While they lauded each others’ problem-solving skills, the students admitted the need to have someone take a leadership role and work in teams from the beginning.

“At first, I was just overwhelmed,” one student said.

Newman said its the fourth year for the exercise, which involves about 40 nursing students and other students in the College of Health and Human Services.

“Last year, it was a zombie attack,” Newman said, laughing.


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Editor-in Chief:
Kirsten Nicole

Editorial Staff:
Kirsten Nicole
Stan Kenyon
Robyn Bowman
Kimberly McNabb
Lisa Gordon
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Kirsten Nicole
Stan Kenyon
Liz Di Bernardo
Cris Lobato
Elisa Howard
Susan Cramer