The “patients” filled out the necessary paperwork and consent forms, received a “shot” in the form of candy, swiped their Lion Card and went on their way.

The mock pandemic staged Friday, Oct. 10, served as a test to see how efficiently volunteers could respond in a crisis situation.

The volunteers were a combined group from the Nursing Department and the Health Promotion Center. They worked to treat students, faculty and staff from stations set up in Leggett & Platt Athletic Center and the Mayes Student Life Center, while using Corley Auditorium as a command center for briefings and debriefings.

“The volunteers have a good attitude and are eager to help,” said Coeta Ogle, assistant professor of nursing.

The Joplin/Jasper County Emergency Healthcare Coalition set up pods throughout the area after the 2011 tornado to increase the efficiency in handling critical situations.

This was the first year that Missouri Southern has tested the closed pod system. The purpose was to determine the ability of the tiered command structure to handle a crisis.

In the event of a pandemic, the closed pod at the university would be able to serve students, faculty, staff and their immediate family members – up to 12,000 people.

“It all went well; the students learned a lot,” said Grace Ayton, nursing professor.