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Elementary School Nurses Receive Crisis Training In Boston

BOSTON (CBS) -- For a group of elementary school nurses, crisis training is one lesson they never wanted to learn.

"We are the only medical people in the building and they are looking at us to do something," Mount Alvernia Academy nurse Jane Thornton told WBZ-TV on Wednesday.

Thornton and her friend, Mary Kate Dillon, have been nurses for years, but this is the first time a trauma surgeon has given them skills they hope they never have to use.

"It's scary," she says. "How do I learn how to think in the face of this and not fall apart (and) freak out?"

The nurses are learning how to use a tourniquet on their students if there is a school shooting.

Dr. David King of Massachusetts General Hospital said "Never would I have thought it be a skill set that we would have to impart to teachers." He is a surgeon at the hospital and in the Army.

King led the training. He was the man who ran the Boston Marathon in 2013, and then went straight to the operating room to help after the bombings. This is his personal mission.

"I'm in the business of saving lives, and I can't be at all these shootings and teachers and school nurses are," he said.

So for the first time in the state, these school nurses with the Boston Arch Dioceses are learning battlefield techniques. The rash of school shootings has left everyone feeling helpless.

Dillon says "To think it could be the children in my school...the only word is 'terrifying.'"

Terrifying, but empowering. And they have faith they will never have to use it.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Lana Jones reports

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