In collaboration with students from Kaplan University's Bachelor of Science in Nursing program, local police and fire departments participated in a mock mass casualty training exercise late summer on the University’s Augusta campus.
The day-long event provided an opportunity for emergency personnel to evaluate response time and effectiveness when dealing with similar situations and allowed them to identify areas for improvement in their approach. The mock scene involved evaluating preparedness, responsiveness, and community coordination while helping students achieve course objectives in community and public health nursing.
Nearly 100 participants played important supporting roles in the training, but only a handful of leaders knew of the details providing a very realistic experience.
Lieutenant Kevin Lully of the Augusta Police Department said, “On behalf of the Augusta Police Department and City of Augusta, we are pleased to be able to share in this type of proactive and team-oriented networking. The utilization of police and fire services, incorporated with the eagerness and energy of Kaplan University students, resulted in a very dynamic and diverse training. We look forward to our on-going [relationship] with Kaplan [University] in the future.”
As part of the community health nursing course at Kaplan University, students have the opportunity to study the various roles nurses play in the community including collaborating with community partners, evaluating processes/procedures relating to community needs, and educating based on needs of individuals as well as communities.
Dr. Shannon Packard, director of nursing for Kaplan University’s Maine nursing bachelor's degree program, added, “The amount of planning and collaboration that goes into an event like this really affords students an opportunity to implement the nursing process from a different perspective. Collaborating with community partners, planning and implementing within a group also strengthens teamwork skills, leadership skills, and communication skills. All necessary skills within the nursing profession.”