In a dark auditorium packed with more than 1,000 high school and college students, all eyes are transfixed on an emergency room reenactment. A medical team works to resuscitate a 17-year-old who was texting while driving and has suffered multiple injuries.
As the teen’s sister stands by his side and the mother wails for her son, the emergency room nurse delivers devastating news. In the final scene, the team zips the teenager into a body bag and wheels him away.
Faulkner State Community College launched its patient simulation program one year ago through its Fairhope Campus Nursing Program. In addition to teaching nursing students how to respond to traumatic auto injuries, the faculty is using simulation to try to prevent them.
The scenario was conceived by two of the college’s adjunct faculty: ER Nurse Carman Godfrey and Flight Nurse Valarie Rumbley. “Both of them see traumatic events on a regular basis, and they had seen numerous texting while driving injuries,” said Allen-Thomas. “It was their vision, and they had a really strong conviction about it.” The vision of FSCC is to encourage others to use simulation to reach their communities regarding the hazards of texting and driving. “Every day, I get 15 to 20 emails that say ‘thank you so much,’” Allen-Thomas says. “I know we’ve saved a life along the way.”