As part of the SIMEX Series exercise  the University hosted a simulated mass casualty incident where Nursing/Allied Health students were joined by colleagues from the local Hospital Trust to treat simulated patients with a variety of presentations. The exercise was an educational activity and at key points in the simulation, action was paused to enable everyone to learn from significant injuries. The students involved were able to assist the emergency team to test disaster event response and build vital skills including interpersonal communication, supporting distressed patients, de-escalation techniques, and recognition of deteriorating patients.
Nursing students assumed the roles of Band 5 Nurses and were allocated a shift. Also participating were Radiographer and Operating Department Practitioners students. Each student was designated an area (e.g. minors, majors) and was linked with a Nurse from the Acute Trust who coordinated care. The exercise used 43 simulated casualties, consisting of drama and healthcare students. Professional actors helped to support the authenticity of the event, especially around some of the more complex injuries such as a lady who required a Perimortem C Section and a patient presenting with schizophrenia. An amputee actor played the role of a person who required an amputation as a result of the simulated emergency. He was able to draw upon his own experience adding depth to the role. Simulations were designed in coordination with the hospital team to rehearse treatment of uncommon presentations. Further scenarios were developed to enable the students to achieve their proficiencies and to display the professional values required to support patients in challenging situations.
Initial feedback has been very positive, highlighting how the event has helped the students build upon and consolidate the fundamental skills required to be confident and competent in their future roles .
We are currently awaiting formalised evaluation from a partnering university who undertook pre- and post-evaluation from all ‘players’. Immediate feedback included the students using language such as ‘empowered’, ‘empathy’, ‘unity’, and ‘team spirit’ to describe their experiences. Furthermore, the students identified that the exercise had high-fidelity and enabled them to embark on interprofessional learning to test not only their physical skills but also their emotional intelligence.
Following the success of SIMEX 2022, discussions surrounding SIMEX 2023 have commenced and it is hoped the event will expand to a larger number of students across the Faculty, in line with Nursing and Midwifery Council Standards .
1. The Simex Series Disaster & Emergency Response Exercise. https://thesimexseries.org/ [Accessed on 19/06/2022]
2. Nursing and Midwifery Council (2018) Standards of proficiency for registered nurses. https://www.nmc.org.uk/standards/standards-for-nurses/standards-of-proficiency-for-registered-nurses/
3. Nursing and Midwifery.(2018) The Code: Professional standards of practice and behaviour for nurses, midwives and nursing. associateshttps://www.nmc.org.uk/globalassets/sitedocuments/nmc-publications/nmc-code.pdf [Accessed on 1/06/2022]