Stay on your toes! The University of Miami School of Nursing and Health Studies offers a unique disaster simulation course to students, faculty, and staff to educate them about disaster response. This disaster response course is the first of its kind, according to the University of Miami. The course is designed to be highly realistic in order to closely resemble a real disaster, including the fact that participants have no idea what they face.

According to the university, the disaster simulation is a three-day field experience for 30 volunteers that simulates a real disaster. These brave volunteers have no idea what kind of disaster will be simulated before it begins. The simulations take place at the UM School of Nursing and Health Studies simulation hospital. 

Participants are asked to prepare themselves for what it would be like to live outdoors without a proper place to sleep or the ability to shower. They will also experience limited electricity, plumbing, and air-conditioning, all without leaving campus.

“It will be very intense, very stressful, and very realistic,” pediatrician and internist Antonia Eyssallenne told the University of Miami. Eyssallene is an assistant professor at the Miller School of Medicine and spearheaded this simulation course. 

You can see photos from inside the simulation hospital below:

This disaster simulation course is especially relevant considering its location in the country. Miamians are no strangers to disaster. Hurricanes batter South Florida year after year, and effective disaster response is critical to a speedy and successful recovery. This course gets students ready for when the real thing happens.

“We all want to help, but how uncomfortable are you willing and able to be to help?” Susana Barroso-Fernandez, an assistant professor at SONHS who directs the simulation hospital's special projects, told UM. “It’s better to find out now, than when you land in chaos in the middle of nowhere.”

This disaster simulation training prepares students for the real deal and could save lives the next time disaster strikes.

You can read more about the simulation hospital here

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