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Campus Alert

April 11, 2024
Westminster, MD─ As part of their rigorous training in emergency preparedness and response, nursing students at Carroll Community College (Carroll) participated in a Mass Casualty Exercise on April 3rd and April 10th on campus where a simulated emergency unfolded, testing the students’ ability to triage, assess, and provide immediate care to multiple victims.

The exercise aims to simulate a real-life scenario where students can apply their skills and knowledge in a controlled environment, ensuring they are well-equipped to handle emergencies effectively in their future careers as healthcare professionals. The simulation is a way to introduce nursing methods such as triaging and reinforce prioritization and collaboration to nursing students in their fourth term.

“Carroll’s Nursing Program has really prepared us for what we are going to see in the outside world,” said Courtney Witmer, a fourth-term nursing student.

A primary objective of this exercise was to ensure that the students could work in a high-pressure and immediate situation. During the training, nursing students faced various challenges, including managing limited resources, prioritizing patient care, and working under pressure.

The scenario involved various injuries and medical conditions, requiring students to collaborate with each other and emergency responders to ensure the best possible outcomes for the simulated patients.

This Mass Casualty Exercise is a collaborative effort between Carroll and local emergency response agencies, including the Carroll Community College PTA and Paramedic students, Carroll County EMS, Carroll Hospital Center Emergency Room Director, Management, and Nursing.

Participation in such exercises is essential for nursing students to develop critical thinking skills, teamwork abilities, and confidence in their clinical practice. By experiencing simulated emergencies, students gain valuable hands-on experience that complements their classroom learning and prepares them for the realities of healthcare delivery in dynamic environments.

“Participating in a disaster simulation can provide an opportunity to develop clinical judgment, refine prioritization skills, and enhance collaboration with emergency responders. These simulations offer a safe environment for students to apply theoretical knowledge to real-life scenarios, allowing them to make critical decisions under pressure. As our fourth term students navigate the simulated progression from scene stabilization to emergency room care, they learn to effectively triage patients, communicate with interdisciplinary teams, and coordinate care in high-stress situations. This immersive experience equips them with the necessary skills to deliver competent and compassionate care during real-life crises.” said Britney Harden, Assistant Professor of Nursing and Organizer of this Exercise.

In addition, the students had the opportunity to collaborate within interprofessional groupings to complete patient care. This allowed for clear communication within the situation and during the debrief. The students’ working alongside their classmates and their instructors allowed recognition of the acute and long-term impact of an event such as this.

The safety and well-being of all participants are top priorities for exercises like this. Strict safety protocols were in place, and professional medical staff supervised the entire event to ensure a safe and effective learning environment.

“It was a great learning experience. It was good to have a safe setting in which we could practice if an incident like this happens,” said Kim Darby, a fourth-term nursing student.

Carroll remains committed to providing its students with a comprehensive and experiential education, preparing them to excel as compassionate and skilled healthcare professionals.

For more information about the program, go to:



Carroll Community College’s mission is Empowering learners. Changing lives. Building community. Carroll Community College (Carroll) provides accessible, high-quality educational opportunities to advance careers, enrich lives, and strengthen the community we serve. Carroll offers academic and career preparation leading to transfer to four-year colleges and universities, and for direct entry into professional opportunities. Carroll Community College is located at 1601 Washington Road, Westminster, Md., 21157. Visit us on our website at