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Chemical and Radiation Training for Public Health and Nursing Students: An Under-Utilized Disaster Response Demographic

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  06 May 2019

Sukhi Atti
Affiliation:
Emory University Medical Toxicology Fellowship, Atlanta, United States
Emily Kiernan
Affiliation:
Emory University Medical Toxicology Fellowship, Atlanta, United States
Mark Layer
Affiliation:
Emory University Medical Toxicology Fellowship, Atlanta, United States
Aynur Sahin
Affiliation:
Emory University Medical Toxicology Fellowship, Atlanta, United States
Shaikhah Alotiabi
Affiliation:
Emory University Medical Toxicology Fellowship, Atlanta, United States
Waleed Als uk aiti
Affiliation:
Emory University Medical Toxicology Fellowship, Atlanta, United States
Sydney Shuk
Affiliation:
Emory University Medical Toxicology Fellowship, Atlanta, United States
Kayla Lindros
Affiliation:
Emory University Medical Toxicology Fellowship, Atlanta, United States
Tyler Giberson
Affiliation:
Emory University Medical Toxicology Fellowship, Atlanta, United States
Ziad Kazzi
Affiliation:
Emory University Medical Toxicology Fellowship, Atlanta, United States
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Abstract

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Introduction:

Public health (PH) and nursing students are an underutilized demographic in disaster response. Knowledge of the disaster response phase may enhance student understanding of preparedness, and provide response capabilities.

Aim:

A single four-hour simulation-based training session, with toxicologists as instructors, can effectively improve PH and nursing student knowledge and skills in chemical and radiation response, despite minimal prior experience.

Methods:

A convenience sample was used to test PH and nursing students in a response training program. An introductory lecture and simulation training reviewed: mass casualty care, triage, personal protective equipment, decontamination, and chemical and radiation exposure toxidromes. An examination was administered pre-training, and then post-training, to evaluate relevant training, knowledge, risk perception, and comfort in response capabilities to chemical and radiation incidents.

Results:

Forty-two students attended the course; 39 were included in the study. Seventy-two percent (n=28) of participants had no prior disaster training. Overall, there were significant differences between the pre-test and post-test scores for all students [95% CI: 5.4 (4.7-6.1); p<0.0001, paired t-test]; maximum score 15/15. Comparing scores of nursing and PH students, despite statistical difference in pre-test scores (median, IQR: 9.0 (7.5-10±2.0); 7.0 (5.7-9.0) respectively; p=0.048, Mann Whitney U-test), there were no statistical differences in post-test scores (median, IQR: 14.0 (13.0-14.0); 13.0 (12.0-14.0), respectively, Mann Whitney U-test). All students recognized nerve agent toxidrome and performed SALT triage after the training (p <0.0001, McNemar test). Subjectively, participant comfort level in responding to a chemical or radiological incident improved (p <0.0001, McNemar test). Individual risk perception for chemical or radiological disasters did not improve after training.

Discussion:

Improvement of knowledge and comfort was demonstrated, irrespective of previous experience. Simulation-based training of chemical and radiation disaster preparedness, led by medical toxicologists, is an effective means of educating PH and nursing students, with minimal prior fluency.

Type
Poster Presentations
Copyright
© World Association for Disaster and Emergency Medicine 2019 
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