WSU Spokane students simulate mass shooting

WSU logoWSU Spokane health sciences students will take part in a simulation to treat victims of a mass shooting — part of their interprofessional education curriculum.

Students from the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine, the College of Nursing, the College of Pharmacy, and the University of Washington’s physician assistant program will take part in the event, 5-7:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 13, in the College of Nursing building on the WSU Spokane campus.

Participants learn how to take immediate steps to stabilize people injured in a mass-casualty event, including applying a tourniquet correctly, clearing a victim’s airway, controlling bleeding, and improvising until first-responders arrive.

“We teach students to do what they can in the first few minutes with what they have at their disposal,” said Barbara Richardson, director of WSU Riverpoint Interprofessional Education and Research.

The simulation has been offered annually in recent years. WSU may offer it again in the spring because of overwhelming interest among students in participating, Richardson said.

Forty students will take part in the simulation, with another 10 students volunteering as victims. The simulation begins with a short classroom session, followed by practice in basic trauma skills. Then participants head to the second floor of the College of Nursing where they’ll find 10 people made up to look as if they have various kinds of wounds that victims might sustain in a shooting or other mass casualty event. Other volunteers could act as “distractors,” screaming at the participants to save their loved ones.

The simulation was devised at the suggestion of a student after an assistant professor and eight students were fatally shot on the campus of Umpqua Community College in Oregon.

“If someone has a heart attack, we teach our students to do CPR. But if someone is shot, what do you do?” said Richardson. “Our hope is that they never have to use these skills. But if they could save a life, ever, we want them to know how to do it.”

(story:; image: WSU)

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