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William F. Connell School of Nursing

Disaster simulation

Photo of Catherine Walker

Catherine Walker, M.S. '15, calls 911 during a "disaster simulation" exercise in a community health class. While student nurses are caring for elderly, infirm residents (role-played by faculty and staff), an emergency radio broadcast warns that an extremely dangerous storm system is expected to move through the Boston area within 30 minutes. Public safety officials are urging all local residents to seek emergency shelter. Students and "patients" then hear sounds of thunder, lightning, and violent winds, and the facility's electric power fails. Within minutes, a fire alarm sounds as smoke starts to fill the facility.

Walker calls for help—the first step in an emergency plan that is posted at the nurses' station. Other students attempt to move "patients" with limited physical mobility.