Disaster Training


An intense, high-fidelity simulation provides our students with essential training in the event of a disaster.

For IUSON Bloomington’s student nurses and faculty, October 9th was a disaster…literally!

On that day, 168 junior and senior students and nine faculty members made the 90-minute journey from Bloomington to the Muscatatuck Urban Training Center, a 1,000 acre active urban training environment run by the Indiana National Guard.


IUSON BL students learning life-saving disaster-preparedness skills at the Muscatatuck Urban Training Center.

There, specially-trained faculty (called a “cadre”) – including clinicians, instructors, and faculty from IUSON Bloomington, the IU School of Medicine’s Department of Emergency Medicine, Indianapolis Emergency Medical Services (EMS), and alumni volunteers from IUSON Bloomington – took our students through an intense, all-day, high-fidelity mock disaster designed to teach them START: Simple Triage and Rapid Treatment.

START is a triage method used by first responders to quickly classify victims during a mass casualty incident (MCI), based on the severity of their injury. One change made to the simulation this year vs. prior years at Muscatatuck is the addition of the “Stop the Bleed” training provided by Lesley Myers and IU Health’s Bloomington Trauma Services. With “Stop the Bleed”, our student nurses gain additional training and become better able to recognize life-threatening bleeding and to intervene effectively.

"Muscatatuck’s disaster simulation and triage training is such an important part of educating our student nurses and sets IU nurses apart from other nursing students."


                                        -- Clinical Assistant Professor Dr. Roxie Barnes

“A disaster involving mass injuries can happen at almost any time, which is why Muscatatuck is such an important part of training for our nurses and sets IU nurses apart from other nursing students,” says Clinical Assistant Professor Dr. Roxie Barnes, who organized the event.

In addition to the Indiana National Guard, the IU School of Medicine, IU Health Bloomington, and Indianapolis EMS, support for our Muscatatuck simulated disaster training was provided by Indianapolis’ MESH Coalition (Managed Emergency Surge for Healthcare) and the American Red Cross. A special thank you to IUSON alums Haley Esser and Carrie Sparks, IU Health’s Lesley Meyers and, especially, Chad Priest, CEO of the American Red Cross’ Indiana region, for making this event possible.

“Having a great team and great support for our students is what made this year’s Muscatatuck such a success,” says Dr. Barnes.

Students and instructors at Muscatatuck Urban Training Center