Montana State University

MSU nursing students provide first aid station at football games, other university events

October 5, 2017 -- By Anne Cantrell, MSU News Service

Montana State University accelerated nursing students Leah Cornish, left, and Will Dean staff a first aid station during a home football game Saturday, Sept. 30, 2017 in Bozeman, Mont. MSU photo by Kelly Gorham.

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MSU News Service
Tel: (406) 994-4571

BOZEMAN — A new collaboration between the Montana State University College of Nursing and the university’s Sports Facilities Department is helping to address minor medical issues for people attending football games and some larger concerts on campus this fall.

At the events, up to five nursing students, along with a faculty supervisor, are staffing a first aid station where people may receive first aid care for nose bleeds, cuts, blisters, sprained joints, hydration issues, hypothermia and other needs. Those staffing the station will refer individuals to American Medical Response, which is also available at the events, as needed.

“This (service) is intended to be a supplement to AMR,” according to Melanie Stocks, director of Sports Facilities. “This collaboration is intended to provide better service to our fans and take a load off guest services trying to juggle medical issues.” 

The collaboration began after a nursing faculty member and a Sports Facilities staffer spoke informally. The nursing faculty was looking for ways for students to gain clinical experience, while the Sports Facilities employee was hoping to make water more easily accessible to fans at concerts in order to help alleviate hydration issues.

To date, MSU nursing students have staffed a first aid station at two football games and a station focused on hydration at one concert.

And so far, the College of Nursing and Sports Facilities both view the collaboration as a success.

“Our nursing students are a great asset to our events,” Stocks said. “They have been well-received. Fans are very grateful for the assistance.”

In turn, working at the station provides a valuable opportunity for students to learn how to think critically and practice exercising their skills, according to Janet Smith, an instructor with the MSU College of Nursing who has been involved with the project.

“The first aid station provides an environment that allows our students to identify a problem, determine the best solution and then choose the best method to reach that outcome,” she said. She added that the experience also allows students to work together as a team and hone their communication and collaboration skills.

Some of the nursing students who staff the first aid station receive credit toward their needed clinical hours, but the majority of the students are volunteers, Smith said. All of the College of Nursing instructors who are involved are volunteering their time, she added.

"Being a vital part of MSU is something we (in the College of Nursing) truly value," said Sarah Shannon, dean of the college. "The opportunity for our students to gain real-world experience, provide a useful service and support our Bobcat community is a 'win' all the way around. We look forward to expanding this partnership."    

“This venue allows a process for our students to become involved in the community (and) provide a service to those in need outside of the classroom,” Smith said.

The first aid station will be located at select concerts and between sections 114-116 of Bobcat Stadium during all home football games this season. For more information, contact Stocks at 406-994-7117 or Jane Scharff at 406-994-2833.

Contact: Melanie Stocks, 406-994-7117 or; or Jane Scharff, 406-994-2833 or