What would you do if you were faced with a major incident? That’s the question our healthcare students were faced with last month in our Major Incident Simulation. The ‘MIS’ as we like to call it is a realistic accident scenario- just think of it as a real life episode of ‘Casualty’. We have our actors playing the casualties (complete with gory wounds!), our cameramen filming all the action but there’s just one difference- our healthcare students treating the patients aren’t acting. For them, this is the perfect opportunity to put their expert training into practice.

Along with fire fighters and the police, our health students are challenged to rescue and respond to the situation as though it were a real-life incident. Casualties are then assessed and treated by our students at the authentic hospital facilities based at our state-of-the-art Seacole Building. There’s certainly no script when it comes to our Major Incident Simulation

After the MIS, we spoke to some of our students involved to get their thoughts:

MIS2015 Paramedic

“I had known I was going to be involved with the Major Incident Simulation for some weeks. This gave me plenty of time to heavily anticipate the day. A great deal of emotions were involved before the incident, during, and after. Beforehand, I was feeling exceptionally nervous, but had some excitement also. Not knowing what you are going to be dealing with is all part of being a Paramedic.

The scene was pretty busy throughout the simulation, but once I arrived on the scene, I was just focused on getting the patients to the hospital. The noise and surrounding activities weren’t really of any nuisance, although I’m sure the patients thought otherwise!

This has undoubtedly been a great experience and has given me an insight into my role as a future paramedic, especially being at the scene of a major incident. This has been a good tool to use for reflective practice, knowledge, and skills building.” – Emma Hough, Student Paramedic


“Oh it was such a challenging yet very productive day! To start with, I was not sure what to expect of my role or what it was to be on the day. To prepare myself, I read through my Nursing Practice 4 module for physiology and anatomy as well as nursing care for acutely ill patients. On the day, I found myself working in the triage as not just a student nurse but the main ‘adult nurse’ working along with one child student nurse (main child nurse) and 2 medical students – all of who were brilliant.

As soon as we arrived, we were confronted with a never ending stream of injured patients to triage and nurse before attempting to transfer them to a different department of the hospital based on the severity (priority) of their conditions. It was overwhelming but we all kept our cool and dealt with the problem in midst of limited space and resources – especially the transfer of the patients to the main hospital. It was such a marathon session that kept our hands full and our heads rolling. We forgot it was a simulation and took it to be a real situation with real patients.

I think it should form part of third year training attached to ‘Transition to Qualified Practitioner’ module as it was so resourceful and such an eye opener.” – Sebastian Mwuara, Adult Nursing


“The major incident simulation was a valuable experience. It was great to work as part of a large team of health care professionals. It took me out of my comfort zone and made me think about how I would react and the decisions I would make in practice. It was scary at times but also exciting and I’m sure has prepared me for my future career.” – Keelin Hughes, Diagnostic Radiography

“Before the event started I was nervous but as soon as I arrived on scene all my worries vanished and I enjoyed every minute of it. Being apart of the MIS is an amazing opportunity as a student, it gives you an insight into what it would be like in a real life situation. Your adrenaline is pumping from start to finish and you get lost in the moment. I was concerned that once on scene I would forget everything I had been taught but at the time you don’t even think about that you just do it! Everyone pulls together and the team work is incredible, it really makes you appreciate having such a strong team around you with all the different services and you really get to see what a difference it makes having help from the firemen and police officers at a major incident. Everyone gets really hands on. You are a team not an individual whilst on scene.” – Jodie Hemsley, Student Paramedic


“I felt privileged to be selected to take part in the event. I was nervous and excited before [the MIS]. It was a really good learning experience and I would feel more confident in dealing with a major incident. During the event my training kicked in and I preformed to the ability needed.” – Glenn Long, Operating Department Practice 

“The major simulation event was an incredible, invaluable experience, almost indescribable. The atmosphere throughout the simulation can only be described as ‘real’. Everyone was so serious, pushed out of their comfort zone, but also collaborating as professionals. Communication was key. Even though the phone calls were role play, it felt important! We were all so busy in our individual roles I didn’t even notice the film crews!

It certainly has helped to prepare me for my newly-qualified practice. Not only has it helped boost my confidence, but it has also highlighted areas I need to work on.

I would encourage anyone and everyone to participate in this event. Not everyone has the opportunity to experience a major incident, thankfully.  Therefore to have experience this, pre-registration will stay with me forever.” – Laura Critchley, Child Nursing

Want to find out more about the Major Incident Simulation? Read Paramedic Student Jack’s blog about his MIS experience and check out our Facebook album including exclusive behind the scenes photos.

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