Tempe school nurses train to 'stop the bleed' in wake of Parkland shooting

Posted at 5:45 PM, Apr 18, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-19 11:05:09-04

Karen Allen has been a school nurse for 20 years. Her days in the Tempe Union High School District can get busy.

"I've got kids coming all day long that need anything from a band-aid, they've got a sports injury, they need to be assessed for a concussion," Allen said. 

But trauma training is something she never thought she'd have to do. "Never," Allen said. "When I started 20 years ago we did not even have a fence around the high school."

Elizabeth Waack is the director of emergency services at Saint Luke's Medical Center. She's the one teaching the school nurses how to pack massive wounds with gauze and how to apply tourniquets to severely injured arms and legs.

The goal is to "Stop the Bleed". Waack says it's possible for someone to bleed out in three minutes or less, typically not even enough time for ambulance to get to you. That's why she's teaching the proper use of tourniquets, even how to use clothing to stop the bleed.

"We will not release that tourniquet in the trauma center," Waack said. "Often times they go straight to the operating room and we leave that tourniquet in place."

Allen thought it was a good idea for her and her fellow school nurses to get the trauma training just in case there is a mass casualty event.

Saint Luke's Medical Center offers the Stop the Bleed training to the public once a month. The program is open to everyone.

Those interested can check schedules and RSVP for a class here. Events are set to take place at St. Luke's Medical Center's Phillips Auditorium on the third Thursday of every month.