a group of female students in gloves and scrubs standing over a practice dummy with an oxygen mask on its face. The students are speaking with a man in a military uniform, while a woman in a military uniform writes on a clipboard in the background.

Texas A&M University college students take part in Disaster Working day on March 3, 2023, in College or university Station, Texas.

Laura McKenzie/Texas A&M University Division of Advertising and marketing & Communications


As the earth has seen an improve in mass disasters — from the earthquakes in Turkey and Syria to gentleman-manufactured disasters these as the prepare derailment and chemical spill in Ohio — obtaining wellbeing treatment gurus educated to react to these emergencies has come to be even more important. For 15 many years, the Texas A&M University Health and fitness Science Centre (Texas A&M Well being) has been at the forefront of this teaching with its yearly Catastrophe Working day simulation. On Friday, March 3, the student-led event welcomed far more than 700 Texas A&M college students, above 85 school and employees, and a great number of emergency response specialists to participate in the day-very long catastrophe simulation.

Commenced by the Texas A&M University of Nursing in 2008, the occasion has grown from a small group at a neighborhood church to almost 1,000 men and women orchestrating and taking aspect in the mass simulation. Nowadays, the event is held at Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service’s (TEEX) Disaster City®. College students from Texas A&M educational institutions of dentistry, drugs, nursing, pharmacy and public health, as very well as athletic schooling, psychology and veterinary drugs students and the Corps of Cadets participated in this year’s drill.

“This yr marks a milestone in the background of this occasion. As we celebrate 15 a long time, we have elevated our initiatives to even more enrich the university student working experience, which will finally provide patients throughout the condition of Texas,” claimed Christine Kaunas, executive director for Interprofessional Schooling & Analysis at Texas A&M Health. “Not only are learners training collaboratively to boost affected individual outcomes and finding out crucial catastrophe reaction competencies, but they are doing so whilst faced with a significant degree of fidelity to a real function.”

a photo of a student in maroon scrubs kneeling down and speaking with a woman laying on the ground with red makeup on her arms and legs

A pupil examines the simulated wounds of a individual at Disaster Town.

Laura McKenzie/Texas A&M College Division of Advertising & Communications


As a student-led function, additional than 50 students from Texas A&M work on a organizing committee — with advice from a faculty and workers steering committee — accomplishing almost everything from arranging student participation and teaching to generating the case eventualities for the drill.

Every year, a new circumstance is chosen and kept secret right until the day of the party to present the realism of an sudden scenario. This year’s simulated disaster was a hurricane, and pupils engaged in triage at the disaster web-site, affected person care at the mock discipline clinic, psychological overall health care and requirements evaluation at an evacuation shelter, and catastrophe administration and simulation oversight at Disaster City’s Emergency Operations Coaching Centre.

In the course of the simulation, students choose on the purpose of patients or providers. Students who take part as patients get make-up, known as moulage, to mimic injuries primarily based on the existing state of affairs. As the drill commences, clients act out the scenario that they are assigned, though learners acting as physicians and nurses do subject assessments, then transfer patients to a area healthcare facility for much more prognosis and therapy. Pharmacy college students function with suppliers to ascertain the medications desired, and psychology learners offer the psychological health and fitness care needed of catastrophe victims. Athletic training and dentistry students supply specialised care in orthopedic and comfortable tissue trauma, and head and neck accidents, respectively. Community overall health pupils handle the disaster to deploy means and tackle outbreaks that arise all through disasters.

“Many arranging hours are expended by the pupil organizing committee and our college and team steering committee to produce Catastrophe Working day. It is so gratifying when all the months of scheduling occur to fruition. We hope pupils wander away with significant instruction and abilities they will keep in mind the relaxation of their careers,” claimed Justin Dugie, college student preparing director for Catastrophe Working day.

a photo of a large black helicopter flying over trees and a big pile of dirt

As part of this year’s Disaster Working day simulation, learners assisted with an amount of clinical airlifts by way of plane and helicopter.

Abbey Santoro/Texas A&M College Division of Advertising & Communications


As the event has grown, so has collaboration with companies and federal government companies, this kind of as H-E-B and the Texas Department of Unexpected emergency Management. This yr, Texas A&M Health collaborated with St. Joseph Overall health and the United States Army to improve the simulation. The United States Air Pressure 59th Air Clinical Wing and Texas Air Nationwide Guard 136th Airlift Wing offered health-related evacuations by airplane, while St. Joseph Health Air Med 12 facilitated airlifts by way of a helicopter. Students received a initial-particular person viewpoint on air evacuations, making the simulation a lot more realistic.

“As we carry on to develop situations like Disaster Working day, we comprehend the value of performing with Method and governing administration associates, businesses and businesses that can bring actual entire world experiences to our college students,” mentioned Dr. Jon Mogford, main government officer and senior vice president of Texas A&M Wellness. “These partnerships not only support boost and extend our students mastering expertise, but also support us develop relationships and alternatives for upcoming jobs and partnerships.”