After an afternoon that included fake blood and screaming, Otterbein University nursing students are a bit more prepared to treat victims in a disaster scenario.

After an afternoon that included fake blood and screaming, Otterbein University nursing students are a bit more prepared to treat victims in a disaster scenario.

Students from the Nursing 3500 course were confronted with a surprise assignment Thursday, March 24.

Instructors sent them to the university's science building, where they found 10 'victims' portraying a wide range of injuries. Some had simulated head wounds, others had fake bones sticking out of their arms.

The injuries were replicated through the work of Otterbein Skills Lab supervisor Stephanie Justice, who was in charge of makeup and fake blood for the afternoon.

Students were tasked with assessing the injuries in 30 seconds or less and to prioritize the more serious victims.

Environmental Health and Safety Officer Tara Grove, who helped set up the drill, said it was an important learning exercise for the students.

"It helps them recognize the stresses put on victims as well as the healthcare professionals," she said. "There are victims screaming, 'Come help me, come help me,' but at the same time those people are probably fine. The healthcare professional needs to move on to the next victim."

Grove said she was surprised by how well the students handled their tasks.

In the debriefing after the scenario, she said they had done surprisingly well and had enjoyed their experience more than she expected.

"They loved it. They said it really helped them kind of understand. Even though they're not practicing nurses and they may not respond to a disaster ... in general, nurses need to know the importance of it."