A simulation of a chemical spill accident allows students in the UM School of Nursing and Health Studies to hone their skills
Triage nurse Mary Peters needed to act quickly. A tractor-trailer had overturned on I-95 in Miami, spilling thousands of gallons of a dangerous chemical onto the roadway.
Peters knew that in less than five minutes, the first casualties exposed to vapor and fumes from the spill would be arriving at the hospital. She’d have to quickly don a hazmat suit and station herself, along with other nurses, inside a decontamination tent, where the victims would be hosed down and scrubbed before entering the emergency room.
The chaotic scene outside the hospital, though, was making her job difficult, as families and reporters had already started to arrive, demanding information about victims.
Mass-casualty incidents like this one test the skills of the nation’s nursing corps every year.