Limited research has focused on the safety and security of First Responders and Receivers, including clinicians, hospital workers, public safety officials, community volunteers, and other lay personnel, during public health emergencies. These providers are, in some cases, at greater peril during large-scale disasters due to their lack of training and inadequate resources to handle major influxes of patients. Exemplified in the 1995 Tokyo sarin gas attacks and the 2008 Wenchuan earthquakes, lack of training results in poor outcomes for both patients and First Receivers.
The improvement of knowledge and comfort level of First Receivers preparing for a medical disaster via an affordable, repeatable emergency preparedness training (EPT) curriculum.
A 5-hour EPT curriculum was developed including nine learning objectives, 18 competencies, and 34 performance objectives. Following brief didactic and small group sessions, interprofessional teams of four to six trainees were observed in a large patient simulator designed to recreate environmentally challenging (ie, flood evacuation), multi-patient scenarios using a novel technique developed to utilize trainees as actors. Trained observers assessed successful completion of 16 individual and 18 team performance objectives. Prior to training, team members completed a 24-question knowledge assessment, a demographic survey, and a comfort level self-assessment. Following training, trainees repeated the 24 questions, self-assessment, and course assessment.
One hundred ninety-five participants completed the course between November 2012 and August 2013. One hundred ninety-one (98.5%), 150 (76.9%), and 66 (33.8%) participants completed the pretest, post-test, and course assessment, respectively. The mean (SD) percentage of correct answers between the pretest and post-test increased from 46.3 (13.4) to 75.3 (12.2), P < .0001. Thirty-eight participants (19.5%) reported more than three hours of disaster EPT each year while 157 participants (80.5%) reported three hours or less of yearly EPT. Sixty-six (100%) reported the course relevant to care providers and 61 (92.4%) highly recommended the course. Comfort level increased from 37.0/100 (n = 192) before training to 76.3/100 (n = 145) after training.
The Center for Health Professional Training and Emergency Response's (CHPTER's) 5-hour EPT curriculum for patient care providers recreates simultaneous multi-actor disasters, measures EPT performance, and improves trainee knowledge and comfort level to save patient and provider lives during a disaster, via an affordable, repeatable EPT curriculum. A larger-scale study, or preferably a multi-center trial, is needed to further study the impact of this curriculum and its potential to enhance the safety and security of the “Second Front.”
. Securing the Second Front: Achieving First Receiver Safety and Security through Competency-based Tools. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2014;29(6):1-5