Hospitals can play a vital role when disasters occur, so being ready is critical. “With our proximity to the Las Vegas Strip, McCarran Airport and UNLV, we want as many tools and resources at our disposal so we can provide quick care to a large number of emergent patients,” said Ryan Jensen, CEO of Desert Springs Hospital.
To help staff prepare for potential emergencies so that they are equipped to respond effectively, five members of the hospital’s emergency team attended a five-day training program at the Center for Domestic Preparedness in Alabama. Specialty training focused on mass casualty incidents and chemical, nuclear and explosive events.
“The training was specific to my profession as an ER nurse,” said Brooke Backer, RN, emergency department bedside educator. “We learned everything from triage tools to putting on a hazmat suit correctly to decontaminating casualties to setting up transport. Everything we learned is vital if one of these events occurred in Las Vegas.”
Days were long with classes from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. “On the last day we had a mock event – Hurricane Chuck – which hit land and could potentially affect the chemical plants, rail lines and highways,” said Backer. “There was also a fault line, which could lead to earthquake activities. Meanwhile, the hotels were full of evacuees, so we were expected to possibly see and treat a very large number of people. This really tied our training together to show what we learned and what to expect during an actual event.”
Undergoing the training was physically demanding and intense for the emergency team, said Jensen, “but our staff’s goal is to continue training others so together, we are more prepared for whatever and whoever comes through our doors.”
In addition to disaster preparedness, Desert Springs Hospital continues to provide advanced care for heart attack, stroke and other life-threatening emergencies.
Learn more about emergency care at Desert Springs Hospital >