Disaster relief training prepares nursing students for potential careers overseas

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By Destinee McCulley | Perspectives Editor

The School of Nursing conducted its first Sphere Training for Disaster Relief Oct. 7-11. It taught nursing program students the international standards for disaster response and its application.

This training conference was hosted by The Sphere Project, an organization based in Geneva, that seeks to provide minimum standards for disaster response in key lifesaving capacities.

The training was taught by Baptist Global Reponse personnel Dr. Francis Horton, Area Director for Central and South Asia, and Dr. Pat Melancon, Managing Director of Disaster Response and Training. Baptist Global Response is an international Southern Baptist group that provides disaster relief and community development to people in desperate need.

The Sphere Project’s standards are internationally recognized; Horton said 95 percent of all countries acknowledge them.

Students met each day in the Copenbarger Presidential Dining Room for conference-style lectures that included hands-on training later on during the week. Students learned the logistical aspects of disaster relief, such as water sanitation and shelter provisioning. They were able to put this information to use in a crisis situation simulation.

“They are very well-equipped to handle these disaster situations, and they have shown that this week,” Horton said of the students who attended.

The Sphere Project maintains a global focus. The training allows California Baptist University nursing students to expand their reach outside of the American culture and help with future job opportunities.

“This is something they can put on their resume,” Melancon said. “If they are going to go work for an international organization that deals with healthcare issues, they will recognize the Sphere standards.”

The professors in the School of Nursing said they are particularly excited about the effects this training will have on students, both in their career and service to God.

“I have no idea how God is going to use this in all their lives, but I know that they are here for a reason, and that is something to get excited about,” said Dr. Deborah Carter, global engagement coordinator for the School of Nursing.

The Sphere training taught nursing students the international standards for handling emergency situations, and help students get jobs in nursing all over the world.

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