Trumbull nursing students and health officials respond to a mock anthrax attack

Senior nursing students at Kent State University's Trumbull Campus joined the Trumbull County Combined Health District and Warren City Health District staff today to test their ability to respond to an anthrax attack. 

According to Erin Heckman, director of nursing at the Trumbull County Combined Health District, the simulation traced a dispersal of anthrax into the community, and the response required treating community members as quickly and efficiently as possible.  

Pod training Trumbull Nursing Square

"This was our first live Point of Distribution (POD) drill in five years, and it went well," Heckman said. “The mock exercise allows us to gauge the effectiveness of our disaster plan and provides students with the experience of responding to a public health emergency."

Students learned plenty from the experience but realized an actual event would be much worse. 

"Given the inherent chaotic nature of a controlled situation like this, it's easy to imagine a real-life event where people would be scared and upset," Jonathan Holmes, a senior nursing student, said. "The simulation gave us some experience if something catastrophic were to happen."

Another student, Alexandria Rossi, appreciated the realism of the simulation and reemphasized the importance of empathy.

"Completing the experience showed us the importance of good organization, but also reminded us that these patients were played by other students who didn't feel like they were in immediate danger," Rossi said. "If it were real, it's important to keep services moving and to be compassionate."

Mary Beth Lukach, senior lecturer at Kent State Trumbull, prepared students for the event so they could safely apply skills in a real-world disaster scenario. 

"We see that preparedness in any type of disaster or emergency is critical," she said. "This simulation is a great way for our students to engage in a meaningful experience and apply their skills under pressure."

The simulation was held Tuesday, April 2, at Kent State University at Trumbull's Technology Building. 

Embedded photo, left-right Alexandria Rossi, Rose Leonard, RN, Warren City Health District, and Jonathan Holmes.


POSTED: Tuesday, April 2, 2024 06:25 PM
Updated: Tuesday, April 2, 2024 10:13 PM