Objectives: In April 2006, Connecticut conducted an exercise that tested its ability to receive and dispense antibiotics from the Strategic National Stockpile. In conjunction with the exercise, a competency-based assessment was performed to determine the training needs of point of dispensing (POD) workers.
Methods: POD core competencies were developed by adapting existing preparedness materials. They were used to assess the training needs of more than 250 people who staffed a POD during the exercise. The assessment measured their confidence in their ability to perform 17 competency-based tasks.
Results: The vast majority needed training on 5 or fewer tasks, suggesting that they were fairly well trained. Pharmacists were particularly likely to need training on at least 5 tasks. Given their role in a POD operation, they should be a focus of further training. Almost one third of participants needed additional training on at least 1 of the 3 basic POD Incident Command System tasks. Additional training is also needed on competencies concerning POD safety and security, liability protections, and family preparedness. POD workers who are concerned about these matters may be less willing or able to staff a POD. People who participated in training both before and on the day of the exercise were best prepared to staff the POD, indicating that both types of training have value.
Conclusions: When compared with the competencies, POD workers possessed many of the necessary skills to staff a POD; however, training with emphasis on areas of weakness revealed by the assessment could improve willingness to report for duty and performance.
(Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2010;4:306-311)