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LRSC hosts trauma simulation

By   Kyle Martin

By Kyle Martin, North Dakota Center for Nursing

Lake Region State College in Devil’s Lake, North Dakota, recently hosted a simulated trauma scenario, as first responders, nurses and other hospital care workers worked alongside the college’s nursing students.

The scenario involved four patients, two live volunteers and two simulations that were involved in a car accident. Valley Flight Med participated in the simulation by landing their flight crew in the parking lot of Lake Region State College and delivering the patients to the clinical classrooms.

Cheri Weisz, a faculty clinical instructor at Lake Region State College, says the goal of the scenario was to provide the students with the opportunity to work in a controlled setting.

“What we wanted our students to take away from the simulation was to work in a safe environment where they could work through their clinical findings. It allowed the students to work without necessarily being in panic mode. We wanted to emphasize the prioritization of orders for the students and stress the importance of communication.”

Weisz says the idea for the scenario happened quickly, as she relayed her wishes to the staff at Valley Flight Med. Together, everyone worked worked with other members of the community and within a few days, the scenario had been approved.

Katy Mosher, a nursing student at Lake Region State College, says the experience wasn’t the first exposure she’s had to a trauma situation, but it was the largest.

“We had four groups of student nurses, three students in each group. We had a simulation of a trauma with two live patients and two simulations that were involved in a motor vehicle accident,” Mosher said. “We each got a case to work on and assessed them. We got a report from the ambulance and had a physician’s assistant come order labs. I thought we communicated pretty well. I thought it was going to be more chaotic but we talked it out and we really came together as a group.”

Nathaniel Leiphon, also a nursing student at Lake Region State College, says the experience gave him valuable exposure and confidence.

“To start out, the scenario was a little overwhelming. But we got settled in and worked together, it went well – I really enjoyed it,” Leiphon said. “We have a pretty solid base of nursing knowledge, so we know a lot about the nursing process however most of us had never experienced working in a trauma setting. Working with the staff was very informative. My biggest takeaway is that I’m more confident and know I could work in a situation like this again.”

David Schmidt, a physician’s assistant at Mercy Hospital, worked along side the students and provided them with orders and directives throughout the scenario. Schmidt says the underlying goal was to provide the students with exposure.

“What we did was bring valley med flight with patients, have the students get exposed to trauma – trauma that was as real as it gets, experience the drop off and the confusion and chaos that ensues in that and even experience the limitations we have in a small town such as limited space and limited numbers of providers,” Schmidt said. “It was good exposure for the students to see and experience the trauma today in a controlled setting where someone’s life truly wasn’t on the line. The students did marvelous.”

To learn more about Lake Region State College’s Nursing Program, visit: