Morgan Shrader is a second-year graduate student at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, studying public health with a concentration in emergency preparedness. She recently completed an internship experience with NSRI during which she partnered with healthcare coalitions to increase awareness and preparedness for burn victim patient management across Nebraska. She helped NSRI develop and execute exercises that were facilitated for more than 325 healthcare professionals across Nebraska in 2021.
What was the impact of your work?
Through working with NSRI, we created collaboration and increased interoperability between care teams, community leaders and hospital leaders across Nebraska. Additionally, I had the opportunity to participate in developing an exercise focused on mass transfusion protocols for rural EMS providers and critical access hospitals. Evaluating capabilities through various scenarios allows for emergency response systems to identify their strengths and areas for improvement. It is exciting to participate in exercises from a planning and participant standpoint.
What was the most interesting part of working with NSRI?
I worked with the NSRI field operations and training team. The most interesting aspect of working with them was the insights I gained from their prior experiences — decades of operational field experience. This was different from my time with colleagues and mentors in the hospital setting. My peers would be fascinated with the wide variety and scope of services that the NSRI team is involved in. NSRI has unique relationships with government, state and local programs. The ability of the team to partner with organizations and provide novice to expert level training on topics, such as chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive education is awesome.
How were you inspired by this experience?
When engaging with a team that focuses on deterrence, readiness and response, you feel a sense of patriotism for being able to assist with the actions of first responders and our military in keeping our country safe.
What did you learn?
I learned the importance of collaboration between communities and stakeholders. Relationships are critical in emergency preparedness. Partnering with organizations, government programs, community members and leaders to develop all-hazards plans, identify ways to mitigate risks, and respond quickly is exciting and challenging.
How has this work moved your education forward?
Being allowed to plan exercises with NSRI has provided me the insight of working with emergency managers across Nebraska and having a greater understanding of response strategies in rural communities.
Why should other students intern through NSRI?
Students should consider an internship through NSRI because of the diverse work within their program and the opportunity to collaborate with industry leaders.
About the National Strategic Research Institute
Through the National Strategic Research Institute at the University of Nebraska leading scientists deliver innovative national security research, technology, product and strategy development, training and exercises, and subject matter expertise to the Department of Defense and other federal agencies. One of only 14 DOD-designated University Affiliated Research Centers in the country, NSRI is sponsored by U.S. Strategic Command and works to ensure the United States’ safety and preparedness against increasingly sophisticated threats. Read about our mission.