Triage drill at Ivy Tech: Nursing students practice mass disaster response

From The Herald-Times
Posted: Wednesday, December 9, 2015 12:00 am
By Kat Carlton 812-331-4351 | |

Ivy Tech Bloomington nursing student Kayla Bishop adjusted a fake punctured eyeball over her right eye and slumped over in a corner. Bishop was one of about 15 students participating in the largest-scale mass disaster simulation yet in the school’s nursing program.

“It helps us put all of our learning concepts together as a whole,” Bishop said.

Students with fake injuries of varying severity sprawled on the first floor of the Lee J. Marchant School of Nursing building on Daniels Way, pretending they were victims of a tornado.

“This is the second year we’ve done one like this,” said School of Nursing Dean Pam Thompson. “The simulation lab capabilities have expanded, so we’re able to do bigger simulations with more people.”

In the past, students have participated in simulations with one or two victims.

“We’ve been doing simulations for several years, but nothing on this scale,” Thompson said.

The group of nursing, paramedic and respiratory care students had to evaluate patients using a triage system. In less than a minute, students were supposed to decide which color (level of severity) each patient was on the triage scale, and tag them with it. “Green” patients, also known as the “walking wounded,” had the least severe injuries and could be treated last. “Black” victims were dead. “Red” indicated severe injuries that needed to be treated right away, and the next level down was “yellow.”

Bishop, for example, with a punctured eye, was labeled as a “red” patient. She was coherent but had a very severe injury that required immediate care, and she had to be sent off to the emergency room. As part of the assessment procedures to determine mental and physical states, students would ask victims initial questions like, “Are you able to walk?” and “Do you know your name?”

“In this simulation, we can’t always fix things right away and move on,” said assistant professor of nursing Kim Roach. “Triage is a stormy system when there are more patients than resources and time.”

One victim lay motionless under a table and wasn’t breathing. She was quickly determined to be unfixable.

Some students used a marker on their gloves to check off the number of people they found, corroborating results with other students.

In about 15 minutes, the group of students had found and evaluated all eight victims at the scene.

After that, some of the students participated in exercises with dummies of a 2-year-old suffering intracranial pressure, and the respiratory students intubated another dummy patient with a chest tube.

“I think the thing we’re so proud of right now is that we’re working with the other programs,” Thompson said. “Collaboration is a really hot issue right now in health care education.”

The collaboration among the nursing, respiratory care and paramedic students was another new feature to the simulations.

For the fall 2015 term, Ivy Tech received more than 2,200 applications for its associate of science degree in nursing and admitted 674 students for its available program capacity. Many of the students in the simulation, like Bishop, are licensed practical nurses transitioning to get their associate of science in nursing.

Ivy Tech Community College’s ASN program posted a 90 percent completion rate for its most recent class statewide.

Paramedic student Kevin Harris checks on Jillian Kerns, also a paramedic student, who is acting as a victim during a tornado disaster training scenario at Ivy Tech.
Jeremy Hogan | Herald-Times


Judith Burton joins staff at Ivy Tech Community College in Bloomington

Dr. Judith Burton of Orleans has recently joined the staff of Ivy Tech Community College Bloomington in The Center for Lifelong Learning as coordinator of classes for Orange and Lawrence Counties.

Burton has partnered with Ivy Tech since 2009 offering non-credit classes at Burton Kimble Farms Education Center, located east of Orleans. Her new responsibilities include designing additional learning opportunities for Ivy Tech’s sites at the StoneGate Arts & Education Center in Bedford and the Orange County Learning Center at Springs Valley.

Dr. Burton is not a newcomer to the field of education. She was affiliated with Northwood University for 20 years before forming a professional development and consulting firm. In her role as a facilitator, she has conducted international and domestic training programs for major corporations around the world.

“I am eager to work with the neighboring communities in Lawrence and Orange Counties to accomplish the mission of The Center for Lifelong Learning at Ivy Tech Bloomington to inspire lifelong learning, advance knowledge, and strengthen our communities,” she said.

Ivy Tech’s Center for Lifelong Learning spring 2016 catalog of classes will be ready online on Tuesday, December 15 at

Dr. Burton can be contacted through Facebook chat or by e-mail at

Ivy Tech student awarded scholarship

BLOOMINGTON – Ivy Tech Community College Bloomington student Caitlin Roof is a recipient of a $3,000 scholarship awarded by the International Chapter of Philanthropic Education Organization (P.E.O.). “The P.E.O. told me it was the largest sum they could offer and I was one of just a few women to receive the biggest amount of money,” Roof said.

“I learned about the scholarship opportunity in an email that the Financial Aid department sent me in the spring of 2015 and since I met the qualifications, I applied,” Roof said.

The P.E.O. Sisterhood Program for Continuing Education Grant Scholarship provides financial assistance to women whose education has been interrupted and who find it necessary to return to school to complete a degree or certification that improves their marketable skills for employment to support themselves and their families. Roof’s six-year-old son is her reason for continuing her education. “I want to make sure he has everything that I didn’t have as a child,” she said.

Roof began studying Human Services in the spring of 2014 after reading about the program in an Ivy Tech newsletter. She will graduate at the end of the semester with an Associate degree in Human Services, and is on track to receive a General Studies degree in May 2016. Next fall she will transfer to Indiana University and plans on double majoring in Psychology and Biology.

“I really want to be a Mental Health Counselor or a Psychiatrist, but that is years down the road,” Roof said. She is gaining real-world experience in the health field as an intern at Hearthstone Health Campus.

For more information about scholarship opportunities, email the Financial Aid department at The financial aid staff is available for walk-ins Mondays-Thursdays 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Fridays 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

1950s fire truck on display in Ivy Tech Waldron’s Firebay this Friday

On the final First Friday of the year, December 4, 2015, Ivy Tech Waldron will host a building centennial celebration from 5 to 8 p.m., complete with an early 1950s fire truck exhibited in the Firebay.

This is the final centennial event celebrating the building’s 100-year birthday. In front of the building, banners have been on display all year marking the milestone, in addition to decals on the walkway between Fountain Square Mall and the Fourth Street Parking Garage.

Ivy Tech Waldron artistic director and dean of the school of fine arts, Paul Daily, says that the downtown arts center is a popular destination for visitors. “The use of the Waldron has increased substantially in our five years in it, proving the need for a community arts center,” he said. “Just looking at First Friday alone, we are on-track to double the number of visitors from 2,725 in 2011 to the 5,148 visitors so far in 2015.”

Ivy Tech and the public celebrated the building’s art history in the spring with a Waldron Arts Awards ceremony and performance. In the summer, the college opened the Waldron Plaza along Fourth Street and had a plaza celebration, which looked on to the next 100 years as a community-centered building. That same day, on June 4, the City celebrated Waldron Building Day.

In the final centennial celebration on Friday, Ivy Tech will look back at 100 years of Waldron as a community building. Exhibits in the Education Gallery will showcase the building’s history as City Hall, a police department, a fire station, home to Bloomington Area Arts Council, and now a community college building with galleries, performance spaces, and classrooms.

The Education Gallery exhibit will be up during the month of December and the public is welcome to visit. The 1950s fire truck will be on exhibit for one day only on Friday, December 4.

On Friday, December 13, WFHB will host Firehouse Follies in the Auditorium, and the show will incorporate the Waldron’s moments in time.

For information about space rental, gallery exhibits, performances and classes at Ivy Tech Waldron, visit

Ivy Tech students benefit from curriculum that utilizes real-world application to math

Ben Markham, associate professor, and department chair of mathematics and physics at Ivy Tech Community College’s Bloomington campus, has earned praise from Chancellor Jennie Vaughan and his faculty peers for the countless hours he’s worked to improve the mathematics degree program for students at Ivy Tech system-wide.

“Ben has been diligently working to make MATH 123 easier to understand for students, especially by providing homework that is relevant,” Chancellor Vaughan said.

Markham puts his degree in physics to use each semester by teaching at least one physics class, but the majority of his time is spent teaching MATH 123, Quantitative Reasoning. The program is a statewide Ivy Tech initiative to help students become math literate in the real world. “The class puts math in perspective by analyzing mathematical content in media like The New York Times,” he said.

“When the concept for the class came up in a meeting I said I’d help, next thing I know I’m one of the people in charge of the program throughout the Ivy Tech system,” Markham said. “It’s all worked out so far, I’m just fortunate I have good people working around me.”

Markham found that a challenge that comes with using custom material is developing homework that will reinforce the exact concepts taught in his classroom. “I tried doing paper homework for a year, but paper isn’t practical anymore,” he said. “Then I tried Blackboard but I had trouble with that too, so I made my own online homework in an open source homework system that’s free for students to access.”

He developed his curriculum using open source software, which saves students the expense of a textbook each semester. Markham estimates that by using the open source homework method his students save approximately $100 each semester on top of the approximately $200 they save each semester by using the custom, Ivy Tech written, course materials. “Algebra hasn’t changed in three or four hundred years, so why do students need to buy a new book every year?”

Dean of the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Martin Wolfger, says that Ben rarely, if ever, takes a break and that he was on campus almost each day he was supposed to be off. “He turned the Math Department around and goes above and beyond in serving Ivy Tech students,” he said.

In the next few years, Markham hopes that MATH 123 will be offered as a dual credit class for high school students and/or throughout the K-12 system.

Markham began at the community college as adjunct faculty in 2001 and became a full time professor in 2005. He was promoted to department chair of mathematics and physics in January 2015.