Skip to content

Realistic Wilderness Medicine Simulation Prepares UT Tyler Nursing Students for Disaster Response

TYLER (November 17, 2023) – The University of Texas at Tyler School of Nursing conducted a  hyper-realistic wilderness medicine simulation, serving as a benchmark for the Nursing in  Nontraditional Environments course. The class is taught by Dr. Glenn Barnes, associate professor of  nursing. 

“We’re dedicated to preparing nursing students for diverse health care environments,” said Dr.  Barbara Haas, School of Nursing dean. “This challenging scenario, created by Dr. Glenn Barnes, not  only tests and hones their clinical skills but also fosters resilience and teamwork. Our students leave  this transformative experience with the confidence to provide health care in any circumstance.” 

In this overnight exercise, nursing students faced a hypothetical scenario – a tornado had taken out  both major hospitals in Tyler. The students found missing hikers and provided critical care  throughout the night, including boiling drinking water from the lake, maintaining a fire until  morning, building a shelter and preparing a meal. The next morning, a UT Health East Texas  ambulance arrived, and the crew taught the students how to load patients. 

“As educators, our aim is to empower nursing students to reach beyond the confines of traditional  health care settings,” said Barnes. “With this wilderness medicine simulation, we are preparing  them to venture where health care needs are greatest, whether that’s in remote wilderness areas,  disaster-stricken communities or global health missions. This unique experience fosters adaptability  and resourcefulness, skills that are crucial for nurses to serve and save lives, no matter the  circumstances.” 

For more information about the UT Tyler School of Nursing, visit

About UT Health East Texas 

UT Health East Texas provides care to thousands of patients each year through an extensive  regional network that includes 10 hospitals, more than 80 clinics, the Olympic Plaza Tower, 13  regional rehabilitation facilities, two freestanding emergency centers, regional home health services  covering 41 counties, an EMS fleet of more than 50 ambulances and four helicopters, and a  comprehensive seven-trauma center care network, including the region’s only Level 1 trauma  facility. 

As a partner with The University of Texas System, UT Health East Texas is uniquely positioned to  provide patients with access to leading-edge research and clinical therapies while training and  educating the next generation of physicians and other health professionals. The nationally 

recognized UT System also includes UT MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, UT Southwestern  Medical Center in Dallas, as well as three other major university medical centers located throughout  the state. 

About UT Tyler 

With a mission to improve educational and health care outcomes for East Texas and beyond, UT  Tyler offers more than 90 undergraduate and graduate programs to nearly 10,000 students.  Through its alignment with UT Tyler Health Science Center and UT Health East Texas, UT Tyler has  unified these entities to serve Texas with quality education, cutting-edge research and excellent  patient care. Classified by Carnegie as a doctoral research institution and by U.S. News & World  Report as a national university, UT Tyler has campuses in Tyler, Longview, Palestine and Houston

Leave a Comment