Nursing Students Coordinate Local Life-Saving Training


Basic first aid kit. Image by Davizro via Getty.

by Brett Buckner

It’s a situation no one wants to consider, but plays out time and time again. Notifications go out about an active shooter at a school or business. There are numerous injuries, and – to make a terrifying situation even worse – first responders can’t safely reach the victims right away.

Blood loss is the leading cause of death after a traumatic injury, namely from gun shots, but also from car accidents or even weather-related injuries. Understanding how to treat someone suffering from blood loss is the goal behind JSU’s Stop the Bleed training course, which was held on campus on March 29. 

“You can literally bleed out in a matter of minutes,” said Dr. Danyel Munster, assistant professor of nursing at JSU. “We want to provide people with the skills to keep that from happening. Bleeding can happen anywhere. To me, this is a lot like CPR. It’s just a basic form of first aid that everyone should know.”

Stop the Bleed is a national campaign led by the American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma. Inspired by the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, Conn., the program encourages bystanders to become trained, equipped and empowered to help in a bleeding emergency before professional help arrives.

“We hope no one will ever have to use it, but being prepared can save someone’s life,” said Munster.

JSU’s community health nursing students coordinated the Stop the Bleed training program for the campus and local communities, with support from the University Police Department and Jacksonville Fire Department. JSU education majors were among the trainees.

Training was divided into two sections – a lecture presented by Jacksonville Fire engineer David Bell and a skills demonstration led by nursing students. The training emphasized three skills:  

  1. Applying pressure to the wound
  2. Packing, if it’s a deep wound
  3. Making a tourniquet

"It’s really simple, but it absolutely can save lives,” said Munster, noting that the program is also a great training experience for nursing students. “It helps improve their leadership skills and their communication skills. It’s a great all-around program.”

A community-wide training is being planned again for October, while the UPD is available to train university departments and program on request. The Stop the Bleed website also offers a resource hub for those who want to learn more.