202643 School nurse preparedness in urban and rural settings

Wednesday, November 11, 2009: 1:00 PM

Stefanie P. Junker, MPH , Center for Public Health Practice, University of Pittsburgh, School of Public Health, Pittsburgh, PA
Samuel Stebbins, MD, MPH , Center for Public Health Preparedness, University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health, Pittsburgh, PA
Ellen Ahwesh, MA , Center for Public Health Practice, University of Pittsburgh, School of Public Health, Pittsburgh, PA
The School Preparedness Program, a project of the University of Pittsburgh Center for Public Health Preparedness (UPCPHP), is funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and partners with key agencies to provide training and resources to school personnel across Pennsylvania (PA) in planning for and responding to public health emergencies in their school district. A major part of the Program is to train K-12 school nurses in disaster preparedness using a national curriculum. Since 2005, more than 800 PA school nurses, or 38% of the total school nurse workforce, representing urban, suburban, and rural school districts across the Commonwealth, have been trained. School nurses in each of these locations, while sharing many common functions, have unique roles due to the differences inherent in those settings and school populations. School nurses in rural settings can play a particularly significant role, since they are important resources both in the school and in the larger community. This is due to two factors: there are fewer medical professionals in very rural settings, and there are no local health departments in any of the 48 rural counties in PA. School nurse trainees use a standardized tool developed by the University of Pittsburgh to evaluate the training and compare self-perceived abilities before and after the training. Results from this evaluation data will be compared between urban and rural training sites while differences between the role and training of urban and rural school nurses will be explored and discussed.

Learning Objectives:
Analyze the difference between urban and rural evaluation results. Compare urban versus rural school preparedness training needs.

Keywords: Disasters, Training

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have an MPH and a Certificate in Public Health Preparedness and Disaster Response. In addition, I have been involved with the School Preparedness Program since its beginning organizing, devlopeing, and delivering trainings to school personnel across Pennsylvania for 4 years.
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.