ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) – For one wildly popular physician at a well known St. Petersburg hospital, her mission is clear – training her colleagues for trauma scenarios where mass casualties could come through the doors of Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital at any moment.
Dr. Jen Arnold knows that’s a distinct possibility.
She also knows it could happen in any of our Tampa Bay area cities at any time.
The question is, are all of our hospitals and trauma teams within prepared to suffer and survive a large scale tragedy?
As cities around the U.S. watch the heartbreaking events unfold in Nevada, Las Vegas is still in shock.
It just doesn’t seem real.
Hundreds just witnessed a madman terrorize innocent civilians during a concert festival. Amidst the numerous, heartbreaking casualties, there were also hundreds of survivors.
They are still hospitalized, still suffering, still trying to heal in the shadow of heartache.
When Dr Arnold watched the news reports, the wife and mother of two felt her heart break.
She also felt a twinge of panic.
She asked herself a question. Are we ready here at home? Is my hospital prepared?
The answer is yes.
“It’s training, training and more training,” she told News Channel 8 with a wide gin. “It’s what we do. It’s what we’re always doing. You need to be able to get in there, react and know what to do.”
In fact, she explains how she trains trauma teams and what their ultimate goal is – to perform like clockwork.
“A pit crew rehearses over and over and over again. There’s about 20 people that I responded to a car in a race. Each person has a specific role, but because they practice over and over again, they’re able to do their job within their role seamlessly in a short amount of time ”
It’s easy to see why patients love her, colleagues admire her and fans go crazy over her. Dr. Arnold is the real deal. She’s won the hearts of millions on the hit show, “The Little Couple.”
While she enjoys real life, her real passion is training trauma teams, ensuring that they are prepared in case the worst case scenario plays out here.
“No matter what, you want to do your best and are well-trained, if you haven’t done in a while it’s a little more scary,” she said.
She tells us the training is nonstop, every day the week, every week of the year. The patients are high tech mannequins, and the doctors and nurses practice their moves with precision, right down to where they will stand in the emergency room as they tend to patients. For this position, preparation is key knowing if tragedy takes place, the reaction will be swift and seamless.
“You never know when you’ll have to be prepared.”
She tells us her heart goes out to the victims in Las Vegas. She knows that the grief and shock survivors and their families are going through will not be soon forgotten. She also knows that first responders were swift in their actions, saving as many people as possible.
She admits that if an unthinkable act of violence happens in her community – her teams will be ready and waiting to save lives. After all, they trained.
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