Nursing students receive real-world training

Alanna Navin

Georgia Southern University senior nursing students received real-world situation training through an intensive course lead by nursing instructor Marie Graf.

During “Mock Codes, Emergency Nursing and Disaster Training Day,” with the help of the Statesboro Fire Department, students have any type of situation thrown at them and are tested in what they know and how they quickly figure out on-hand problems.

“It was really good, and it was really helpful,” Anna McGaughey, senior nursing student, said in a news release.

“We went through mock codes for when patients are unresponsive, have chest pains or wounds. We went through case studies and determined what we would do in a certain situation. Those were good because our classmates taught us different things,” McGaughey said.

Students also helped each other by running emergency codes for emergency situations while all under Graf’s instruction.

Graf worked with two groups of six students before and after class for 10 weeks to prepare them to run the codes effectively and answer questions from their classmates in this hands-on and practical peer-to-peer learning situation, according to a news release.

“We tried to give various scenarios as well as teach about the conditions in general so we would be prepared for anything we might see in a real-life setting,” Cray Carter, senior nursing student, said in a news release.

“I learned a lot from it, especially emergency care as in snake bites and chest wounds,” Shantekia Smith, senior nursing student, said in a news release.

“We learned the essential things that need to be done to save a life and get them to a hospital. In these scenarios, everything starts to come together, and we apply everything we’ve learned,” Shantekia Smith, senior nursing student, said in a press release.

In her students’ fourth semester, Graf has challenged her senior nursing students with the mock codes and drills.

Graf has used her experiences to teach her senior nursing students how to think in various high-stressed situations.

Graf was a critical care nurse at a hospital system in Houston, Tx. She spent 72 hours on-duty, locked inside the hospital while Hurricane Ike took aim on the Houston-Galveston areas.

When power went out in the hospital, computerized programs were not able to work such as drip rates in IV pumps, putting many patients lives in danger.

“I had to calculate drip rates on the critical care units for some nurses after their IV pumps ran out of battery power because these nurses did not remember how to calculate drip rates due to their dependence upon computerized IV pumps,” Graf said in a news release.

Graf wants her students to get as much practical experience as possible while at Georgia Southern to prepare them for their nursing careers and the students’ performance shows Graf’s instruction is very effective, according to the news release

“They seem to respond quicker in nursing situations when they are in clinical settings when they have seen it in class. It also helps those who learn better through hands-on experience rather than lecture with visual aids,” Graf said.

While the patients for these exercises were mannequins, Smith gave the students’ performance high marks.

“We did great, and we didn’t lose anybody. We worked together. We put our knowledge together and saved lives,” Smith said.

Carter said, “We have more confidence that we will be able to respond to a situation that could effectively save someone’s life which is important because that’s what we are there for.”