SAN ANTONIO -- With bruises and gashes, nursing students got hands-on experience at various hospitals throughout Bexar County and surrounding areas.

"It was really scary. We actually got the feel of things," said San Juana Cardenas, a nursing student at Brightwood College.

They enacted what a real life shooting can be like.

"My role was to play a 32-year-old woman that had been mentally altered to a contusion to the head,” Teres Sonifrank said.

The students learned from someone who has lived through one of the nation’s most devastating shootings.

"This, of course, affects me because I lost my sister in the Aurora, Colorado theater shooting,” said Jordan Ghawi. “So I'm really passionate about teaching our region how to respond to an active shooter scenario."

Ghawi is the spokesman for STRAC, an organization that works to reduce deaths by trauma. He said it's so important for our local hospitals to be ready to respond, something he feels lacked when his sister Jessica was shot.

"The EMS and hospitals were a little inundated and it was difficult for them to respond," Ghawi said.

The active shooter drill was one of the several scenarios 400 students from all around Bexar County participated in.

"I really liked the O-R and seeing the ER and stuff because I want to do ER, it just motivates me to pursue my goal even more," Caitlin Guice said.

Ghawi hopes the experience will be a significant pay off for these future medics.

"San Antonio leads the nation in trauma response and we want to build upon that."

He said STRAC covers 22 counties in south central Texas. Eight universities participated in the drill.