National Guard Members Get Emergency Medical Training at CSS

Alejandra Palacios
Updated: July 25, 2019 09:51 PM

National Guard members from across the country have been getting advanced trauma training in Duluth. The College of St. Scholastica's nursing department teamed up with Essentia Health to offer guard members valuable experience.


The training takes place in the Science Center at CSS. It's hands-on and puts guard members in high stress situations. It's teaching them how to work together in a variety of simulated emergency scenarios thrown at them and is meant to sharpen their medical skills.

"As far as developing muscle memory to patients that are decompensating, its very realistic and helpful," said Maj. Bridgid Patek, from the 115th Air Guard Unit.

The training is required by guard members who are part of the(Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and High-Yield Explosive) Enhanced Response Force Packages (CERF-P) emergency first-responders team. The mission provides mass casualty medical care.

"It could be blast injuries, crush injuries, someone being in a collapse, medical inhalation injuries, so you really have to have a well-rounded training, Airman Victoria Mook from the 192nd Medical Group, said.

During the training guard members were split into two groups. One group observed in a room while the other group got thrown into a simulated emergency scenario. They would switch off afterwards and brief on their performance.

"We didn’t have the first group have pre-briefing. We put them in the scenario and saw what happened. The other group was able to pre-brief and take that feedback and experience and think of how they can do it better and repeat a similar scenario," Greg White, an assistant professor in St. Scholastica's nursing department, said.

"When you're responding to a trauma situation, you control the bleeding first, then you go through your ABC's which is airway, breathing and circulation," Mook said.

The medical mannequins used in the training were very realistic. They had breathing issues, severe bleeding, and multiple injuries like amputations and bullet wounds.

"To get thrown into it was a little nerve-racking but the team dynamic really pulled together well," Mook said.

"We wanted to see in which order they'd do that and how well they respond to not just a single problem but multiple things," White said.

Guard members had to work under pressure and take the steps needed to aid their patient by communicating effectively and working together.

"A lot of times we train how to do things individually and the mission for these medical providers is a much more team based approach," White said.

The guard members learned valuable skills that they'll use when they're out in the field responding to emergencies.

"We stress the importance of having an organized team approach in trauma care," White said. "It's invaluable service we can provide as a college and it'll be enriching not only for the military members but for everyone involved."

"You have to learn to stay calm in those situations and I think even just staying calm is a huge factor in success," Patek said.


Alejandra Palacios

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