On the evening of March 5, a group of Boise State, Idaho State, and University of Washington students gathered in the SUB to learn about emergency preparedness for large sports events.
Joseph Murphy, director and assistant professor of athletic training at Lebanon Valley College, led a Boise State College of Health Sciences Interprofessional Education Clinical Seminar titled “Emergency Preparedness: Pearls and Perils.” Murphy has volunteered his time as an athletic trainer for the Boston Marathon for years, including in 2013 when the Tsarnaev brothers set off homemade bombs around the finish line.
In his presentation, Murphy helped the students understand how much planning and communication and how many disciplines are needed to successfully hold a large scale sporting event, like the Boston Marathon. Medical personnel, including athletic trainers, physicians, nurses, medical records specialists, psychologists and more, all must be prepared to treat common injuries and conditions, such as sprains, blisters, hyperthermia, dehydration, hyponatremia and sudden cardiac arrest, but must also be ready for the unthinkable, such as a mass casualty event in the vicinity.
In addition to the logistics of providing medical services planning for a large sporting event, Murphy shared his experience of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing and the lessons that he and the medical team have learned from that disaster.
Most importantly, Murphy urged the students to take care of themselves physically and mentally throughout their careers.
“How can you provide care to someone else if you are hurt?” said Murphy. “Take care of yourself. Look for crisis training like CISM (Critical Incident Stress Management) training that EMTs, police and firefighters go through. Mental health requires first aid too.”
Murphy also expressed his sincere admiration of the College of Health Sciences interprofessional education initiative: “This is how healthcare education should be done – get a team of professionals in the room to address a problem.”