198943 Effectiveness of disaster surge training for public health nurses

Tuesday, November 10, 2009: 3:30 PM

Barbara J. Polivka, PhD, RN , College of Nursing, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH
Sharon A. R. Stanley, PhD, RN, RS , National Headquarters, American Red Cross, Washington D.C., DC
Michelle Baker , College of Nursing, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH
Background: Due to current expectations of public health nurses (PHNs), competency based training for surge capacity is a critical need. This evaluation assessed the effectiveness of a blended educational intervention (in-class and online learning) developed to enhance Ohio PHNs self-perceived competencies regarding confidence and need for training in 25 previously validated PHN disaster surge competencies. The educational intervention, developed using adult learning principles, addressed the role and skills of PHNs in preparedness, response, and recovery related to public health surge events.

Methods: A pre-intervention survey was given during each of the in-class seminars (N=182) to determine self-perceived confidence and need for further training prior to the competency building intervention. Post-intervention surveys were mailed to all participants who had completed the in-class seminar and at least portions of the online surge curriculum. Using paired t-tests, pre- and post-survey results were compared (N=54).

Results: PHNs confidence in performing all 25 nursing competencies significantly increased and their self-perceived need for further training correspondingly significantly decreased. Subgroup differences at post-test indicated directors of nursing (n=19) self-perceived competence in describing crisis, crisis management, emergency, disaster, catastrophe, and surge was significantly greater than public health nurses (n=22). Those completing all components of the blended educational intervention had greater self-perceived confidence in their ability to locate their health department's disaster plan resources and their ability to describe the PHN functional roles in the plan.

Conclusions: Using a blended learning approach to surge training effectively improved confidence in competencies for PHNs and reduced the participants' perceived need for further training.

Learning Objectives:
Identify the preparedness information presented in each of the blended educational interventions. Determine the effectiveness of surge training on PHNs self-perceived confidence and need for training.

Keywords: Public Health Nursing, Disasters

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I designed the instrument and the research and completed the analyses
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.