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Use of an Emergency Preparedness Disaster Simulation With Undergraduate Nursing Students


Barbara G. Kaplan, Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing, Emory University, 1520 Clifton Road NE, #349, Atlanta, GA 30322. E-mail:


ABSTRACT This is a report of an educational strategy to prepare nursing students to respond to disasters. The strategy includes an emergency preparedness disaster simulation (EPDS) implemented in a school of nursing simulation lab using patient simulators, task trainer mannequins, and live actors. The EPDS immerses student groups into a “tornado ravaged assisted-living facility” where the principles of emergency preparedness can be employed. A total of 90 B.S.N. students participated in the EPDS in the final semester of their senior year. Student post-simulation survey responses were overwhelmingly positive, with mean scores of 4.65 (on a 5-point Likert scale) reported for the EPDS “increasing understanding of emergency preparedness” and “well organized.” Mean scores were over 4.40 for “scenario believability, increasing knowledge base, increasing confidence in working in teams, ability to handle emergency preparedness situations and to work more effectively in hospital or clinic.” The lowest mean score of 4.04 was for “prompting realistic expectations.” Owing to the effectiveness of this educational strategy, the EPDS has been incorporated into the undergraduate curriculum.