Scenes of bravery, tragedy and medical crisis unfolded in Gransha Park at the weekend as a full scale disaster response training exercise was enacted by nursing students from the University of Ulster and Red Cross volunteers.
Dog walkers and hospital visitors could have been forgiven for thinking they had stumbled upon the scene of a disaster movie as more than 60 student nurses and Red Cross volunteers battled to save lives at the scene of a simulated plane crash which resulted in casualties being thrown from the aircraft into a forested area of the Gransha estate.
Professional stage make-up and some fine acting by volunteer casualties helped make the scenario as realistic as possible and provided the ideal training opportunity for nurses and Red Cross teams to practice their casualty location, triage, first aid and emotional support skills.
Pat Deeny, Senior Lecturer in Nursing and Exercise Co-Ordinator from the University of Ulster’s School of Nursing at Magee, congratulated the nursing students for their excellent work in portrayal of casualties and in particular the setting up and management of a Field Hospital.
He said: “Disasters still pose the greatest threat to human existence on the planet. Simulation of mass casualty events, which are a common feature of disasters, help healthcare professionals gain direct experience in disaster response without the risk to personal safety.”
“The simulated exercise gave our senior nursing students an excellent opportunity to practise their management and leadership skills in a stressful but safe environment.
“This helps them gain professional confidence for future roles in the Health Service at home or abroad.”