SHPEP scholars participate in mass casualty training

Attendees of UF’s Summer Health Professions Education Program, or SHPEP, participated in a mass casualty training outside the HPNP building as part of their pharmacy orientation Thursday, June 7. The scenario: an accidental explosion of pyrotechnics display goes off at a rock concert and program participants are the first to respond on the scene. Their purpose was to assess injuries and triage patients, assigning them treatment prioritization categories.

SHPEP students treat mock wound
Summer Health Professions Education Program scholars assess a patient’s injuries as part of a mass casualty training.

The participants cycled through in different groups, acting as first responders then victims, then moving inside to learn about treating some of the presented injuries. Skill stations taught them such maneuvers as stopping bleeding and performing jaw-thrust and CPR.

In mass casualty scenarios, resources are limited and first responders must make difficult decisions as to who should and should not receive immediate treatment. The system sees patients receiving one of five colored tags.

  • Black tags are assigned to the deceased and those who will not be able to survive with the limited on-site resources.
  • Red tags are assigned to those who have a chance to survive with immediate treatment.
  • Yellow tags are assigned to patients in stable condition who are not in immediate danger of death.
  • Green tags are assigned for the wounded who are able to walk.
  • White tags are assigned to those with minor injuries that do not require a physician’s attention.

Clinical associate professor Sven Normann, Pharm.D., whose role with the summer program is as a College of Pharmacy LEAD Team representative, coordinated the exercise. UF Department of Emergency Medicine physicians Jason Jones, M.D., Desmond Fitzpatrick, M.D., and Charles Hwang, M.D., organized the training.

During UF’s Summer Health Professions Education Program, which runs from May 14–Jun 22, attendees learn about health profession opportunities in UF Health’s six health-related colleges. The program is geared toward students of groups that are racially or ethnically underrepresented in the health professions. Participants from the 2018 program come from 39 higher education institutions throughout the United States.

UF receives support to host the program through a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

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