Student nurses star in major incident simulation

Nursing students from the University of Dundee took centre stage during a major aeroplane crash simulation this week as they played victims and survivors for Dundee Airport’s ‘Airex’ exercise.

More than 40 students from the University’s Nursing degrees took up their roles during the simulation to help the accident and emergency services control the simulated incident.

With more than five emergency services and agencies present, the students helped test the initial response times and got a front row seat to see the firefighting and search and rescue tactics employed during the simulation.

Keighley Stevenson, a third-year adult nursing student, said, “It’s so great to see how the emergency services and paramedics treat the different medical conditions that we’ve been given to act out.” 

Janna McCullie, also a third-year adult nursing student, said, “The major incident gives us a good idea of what happens to the patients before we triage them as nurses. When we see the patients they’ve already been seen to by first responders, and often we don’t know what they’ve gone through before that, so it’s incredibly valuable to get to see first-hand what happens during an accident.”

Tom McConnachie, Senior Lecturer in Nursing at the University, said, “Previously our students have taken part in military exercises designed to help build teamwork and resilience, however, today’s exercise gave them an invaluable opportunity to identify the key skills needed in these major incidents.

“You never wish for anyone to be a victim but this simulation is the perfect opportunity for these students to get a grasp of what roles the emergency services play during the exercise, what skills are needed for triage of victims, survivors and their families but also what planning is necessary to ensure you can effectively help control a real situation.”

Andrew Lindsay, Airport Fire Manager, said, “It is great to have the University’s students take part in our multi-agency exercise. They are fantastic and really engage with the work we have to do to ensure we are up to scratch if anything like this is to happen for real.”