It’s the stuff of nightmares, but, for professionals dealing with the aftermath of a major road accident, it’s an all-too-regular part of everyday life.
Knowing what to do after such an event can be the difference between life and death.
That’s why the School of Care Sciences held a Blue Light Exercise at its Glyntaff Campus so that 80 of its student nurses could work together with other emergency service personnel to manage the aftermath of a mock-up road accident.
Also involving probationary officers from Gwent Police, South Wales Fire & Rescue Service personnel, specialist paramedics from the Welsh Ambulance Service’s Hazardous Area Response Team (HART), and a team from St John Cymru-Wales, the event was designed to give those on the front line an understanding of what could happen.
As well as responding to the accident, the student nurses had to manage the nearby fictional Dewi Sant Hospital – based in USW’s clinical simulation suite – which was already filled with ‘patients’ undergoing treatment.
"The whole exercise was designed to give everyone involved an understanding of the challenges and stresses involved in dealing with a major incident," said Dr Nicky Genders, Head of Care Sciences.