nursing students pose as victims in emergency response drill

Central Arizona College Nursing Students Participate in Emergency Response Exercise at Banner Casa Grande Medical Center

On November 15, 2017, Central Arizona College (CAC) nursing students participated in the Arizona Coalition for Healthcare Emergency Response (AzCHER) Full Scale Exercise at Banner Casa Grande Medical Center and Gila River Health Care’s Hu Hu Kam Memorial Hospital.

The coordinated exercise simulated a disaster caused by heavy rains and flooding in Pinal, Maricopa, and Gila River Indian Community areas. CAC’s nursing students posed as victims of the disaster to provide standardized patient simulations to emergency department staff in the two area hospitals. Students learned about disaster planning and the importance of triage. The overall experience created a perspective that students do not normally see – disaster preparedness, training, and execution of policies and procedures on a large scale including multiple city and county resource responses. Debriefing occurred for students in the classroom and proved to be a significant learning experience.

AzCHER is a coalition representing partners in Gila, Maricopa, and Pinal Counties.  Participants included tribal, state, county, and local emergency management, public health, EMS, ambulance providers, acute care hospitals, ambulatory surgical centers, clinics, skilled nursing, long term care facilities, dialysis, hospice, home health, and other healthcare partners.

To learn how you can become a CAC nursing student and participate in experiences such as this one, please call 520-494-5330, attend an information session (times and locations available at, or contact advising at 520-494-5410.

“Listen to your heart” and join the community college nursing program with a “heart for helping people”.