Dove Flight chopper and disaster lab offer lifelike experience for Nursing students

Thu, 2009-04-30 10:56 -- univcomm
April 30, 2009

On Wednesday, AU School of Nursing students had some hands-on simulation experiences that broke the mold of a stereotypical classroom setting. Through an up-close tour of a Dove Flight helicopter and the "disaster lab," students had the opportunity to learn first-hand what experiences may await them in the field.

chopper1Students visited a local hospital to get a tour of a Dove Flight helicopter. Students interacted with a flight nurse, who explained the process of caring for a patient in flight. All medical equipment needed to care for a critically ill or injured patient is located within the helicopter, making it an effective evacuation tool for disaster situations. In addition to learning about the capabilities of the helicopter, students were also able to learn more about the career option of being a flight nurse.

During the disaster simulation, students responded to and performed triage on a large number of "patients" (other students and mannequins). Students had to deal with interferences like power-outages, news reporters and concerned family members while providing care to stabilize patients.

chopper2These simulations make AU's nursing program unique. Sarah Neal, Assistant Professor of Nursing, explained, "The School of Nursing has been doing the Disaster lab every year since the early 90's--way ahead of other schools of nursing, which began emphasizing disaster care following 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina."

The lab is a part of a unit in which students learn to care for individuals, families and communities in crisis. As another component of learning, students complete service learning hours at food pantries, community clinics, homeless shelters, and the Red Cross to familiarize themselves with the services these agencies can provide.

chopper3These high-fidelity or lifelike simulations "are an effective way of educating students because they learn concepts by applying them, not just memorizing them," said Neal.

David Hynds is the Web Content Specialist for Anderson University.

Anderson University is a private Christian university of 2,800 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson continues to be recognized as a top Christian college: in 2008, U.S. News and World Report ranked Anderson University among the best colleges and universities in the Midwest for the fourth consecutive year. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, Anderson University offers more than 65 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, education, music, nursing and theology.