Home > Blog > December 2017 > Mesa Campus Adds Zombies to its Mass Casualty Incident Drill

Mesa Campus Adds Zombies to its Mass Casualty Incident Drill

Posted: December 11, 2017 by Pima Medical Institute

Real-life experience is an integral part of the student journey at Pima Medical Institute. On October 31, Pima Medical Institute’s Mesa campus was the central triage, stabilization and transportation hub for a simulation drill designed to teach students what to do in the face of a catastrophic emergency with numerous victims. This wasn’t your typical simulation drill. This was a Zombie Apocalypse.
The students, instructors and staff at the campus participated in the uniquely themed mass casualty incident (MCI) drill, to gain experience in a very important, and life-saving, collaborative effort.
With mass casualty incidents – such as those that have happened recently in, Nevada, Texas and New York – becoming all too regular occurrences in our country, it’s more important than ever for medical professionals and first responders to be prepared for these types of emergencies.
Conducting mass casualty incident drills while future medical professionals are still students improves their ability to help others in extreme situations, and builds strength in interdisciplinary communication, understanding and collaboration. This helps further prepare them for situations they will likely face as they become established in their careers.
More than 450 people participated in the two-part drill at the Mesa campus (one took place in the morning; a second one took place in the afternoon) and were separated into three main groups: Drill Staff, Medical Personnel and Casualties. The students worked together across all disciplines taught at the school to treat and transport victims quickly and efficiently.
During a 30-minute pre-drill setup, ID badges were dispersed to each classroom. Those students who received Casualty ID badges then proceeded to a special area where their pre-identified injuries were moulaged, which is the art of applying mock injuries for emergency and medical personnel training.
When the drill officially began, triage was conducted on the moulaged casualties. They were transferred to treatment areas staffed by Medical Personnel, and later transported to the appropriate facilities by additional Medical Personnel assigned specifically to a transportation group.
At the end of each drill, the participants shared the key lessons they learned, including the importance of keeping emotions out of the decision-making process during triage, and that the obvious injuries may not necessarily be the deadliest ones. The Medical Personnel discovered the importance of keeping entrances and exits separate, knowing which patients can be grouped together and finding that moving unruly patients to a separate area can help keep all patients calmer. 
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