San staff respond to ‘bomb blast’

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Treating a "patient" after the "bomb blast".

A “bomb blast” in the Sydney Adventist Hospital’s Clinical Education Centre put staff and students to the test recently.

The mass casualty training exercise involved San Emergency Care medical registrars, nurses, and students from the Sydney Adventist Hospital Clinical School of the University of Sydney and Avondale College Faculty of Nursing, who had to respond to the “chaos” that needs to be managed during a real-life disaster.

The simulated mass casualty incident enacted the scenario of a bomb blast in the basement of the Clinical Education Centre with 12 medical and nursing school “casualties” sustaining serious injuries like burns, compound fractures and neck wounds.

There were 12 “casualties” with injuries such as burns, fractures and neck wounds.

Joined for the exercise by four nurses from Concord Hospital, the San’s Emergency Care registrars and nurses formed separate teams managing both the “disaster zone” and the “emergency department” of the centre’s simulation ward. Both teams collaborated “stabilising, transferring, triaging and treating” the casualties.

The exercise was organised by Dr Keith Edwards from the San’s Emergency Care Department and the school’s Clinical Skills and Simulation educator Kia Liao-Mackun. Both are experienced in running mass casualty disaster education and training sessions designed to maximise learning opportunities.

Ms Liao-Mackun said the Clinical Education Centre provides an exceptional learning environment.

The training exercise provided a unique learning opportunity for staff and students.

“The fully equipped simulation ward provides a unique opportunity for ongoing professional development for experienced staff and for training of future health care professionals,” she said.

Dr Edwards agrees the real-life disaster scenario created an intense environment.

“All participants were impressed about how real the situation felt,” he said. “Their level of anxiety was heightened during the exercise . . . but they felt it was an excellent experience and that they learnt a lot.”