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Global health disasters are on the rise and can occur at any time with little advance warning, necessitating preparation. The authors created a comprehensive evidence-based Emergency Preparedness Training Program focused on long-term retention and sustained learner engagement.
A prospective observational study was conducted of a simulation-based mass casualty event training program designed using an outcomes-based logic model. A total of 25 frontline healthcare workers from multiple hospital sites in the New York metropolitan area participated in an 8-hour immersive workshop. Data was collected from assessments, and surveys provided to participants 3 weeks prior to the workshop, immediately following the workshop, and 3 months after completion of the workshop.
The mean percentage of total knowledge scores improved across pre-workshop, post-workshop and retention (3 months post-workshop) assessments (53.2% vs. 64.8% vs. 67.6%, P < 0.05). Average comfort scores in the core MCI competencies increased across pre-workshop, post-workshop and retention self-assessments (P < 0.01). Of the participants assessed at 3 months retention (n = 14, 56%), 50.0% (n = 7) assisted in updating their hospital’s emergency operations plan and 50.0% (n = 7) pursued further self-directed learning in disaster preparedness medicine.
The use of the logic model provided a transparent framework for the design, implementation, and evaluation of a competency-based EPT program at a single academic center.
The development of medical school courses on medical responses for disaster victims has been deemed largely inadequate. To address this gap, a 2-week elective course on Terror Medicine (a field related to Disaster and Emergency Medicine) has been designed for fourth year students at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School in Newark, New Jersey (USA). This elective is part of an overall curricular plan to broaden exposure to topics related to Terror Medicine throughout the undergraduate medical education.
A course on Terror Medicine necessarily includes key aspects of Disaster and Emergency Medicine, though the converse is not the case. Courses on Disaster Medicine may not address features distinctively associated with a terror attack. Thus, a terror-related focus not only assures attention to this important subject but to accidental or naturally occurring incidents as well.
The course, implemented in 2014, uses a variety of teaching modalities including lectures, videos, and tabletop and hands-on simulation exercises. The subject matter includes biological and chemical terrorism, disaster management, mechanisms of injury, and psychiatry. This report outlines the elective’s goals and objectives, describes the course syllabus, and presents outcomes based on student evaluations of the initial iterations of the elective offering.
All students rated the course as “excellent” or “very good.” Evaluations included enthusiastic comments about the content, methods of instruction, and especially the value of the simulation exercises. Students also reported finding the course novel and engaging.
An elective course on Terror Medicine, as described, is shown to be feasible and successful. The student participants found the content relevant to their education and the manner of instruction effective. This course may serve as a model for other medical schools contemplating the expansion or inclusion of Terror Medicine-related topics in their curriculum.
ColeLA, NatalB, FoxA, CooperA, KennedyCA, ConnellND, SugalskiG, KulkarniM, FeravoloM, LambaS. A Course on Terror Medicine: Content and Evaluations. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2016;31(1):98–101.
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