Nicholls nursing seniors to receive disaster training

THIBODAUX – A group of 32 senior nursing students enrolled in the Community Health Nursing course at Nicholls State University are scheduled to participate in on-campus disaster training Wednesday, Nov. 10.

Officials with the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals’ Office of Public Health, Region III, agreed to facilitate the training after receiving an official request from Dr. Shirleen Lewis-Trabeaux, associate professor of nursing and course coordinator, and Tanya Schreiber, associate professor of nursing and course faculty member.

The training will begin at 8 a.m. with a simulated tabletop exercise in Betsy Cheramie Ayo Hall, followed by a realistic point-of-dispensing disaster exercise at 12:30 p.m. in Shaver Gym, during which the role of nurses in care-dispensing and triage operations will be emphasized.

Nicholls will conduct the exercise utilizing its own point-of-dispensing (POD) plan, which will involve maintenance personnel managing logistics as well as setting up the gym to accommodate the scenario.

“Health care professionals absolutely need this type of training, and I am delighted that our Community Health Nursing students will have this opportunity,” Dr. Sue Westbrook, dean of the College of Nursing and Allied Health, said. “The public can rest assured that if disaster ever strikes, these people will be prepared to provide the proper care.”

Dr. Laynie Barrilleaux, vice president for academic affairs, said the upcoming training exercise is one of the many examples of the university’s commitment to service-learning.

“The mutual commitment between Nicholls and the wider community is part of what makes this university so incredibly important,” Barrilleaux said. “I am quite pleased that the College of Nursing and Allied Health is spearheading such a vital training scenario to the benefit of the entire Bayou Region.”

Several evaluators will be present for the training, including representatives from the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals and Nicholls’ own Brian Clausen, director of environmental health and safety. Approximately 50 volunteers from Nicholls sororities and fraternities will participate in the exercise as well, acting as patients.

Eight out of 10 nurses in the Bayou Region are graduates of the College of Nursing and Allied Health at Nicholls. For additional information about the college, go to