207954 Designing a pilot course for health students on emergency preparedness and special needs populations

Tuesday, November 10, 2009: 5:15 PM

Susan Vig Saucier, RN, MS , Department of Nursing, Caroll University, Waukesha, WI
Elizabeth Corneliuson, RN, MS, COHN-S , WHEPP Region 7 Program Coordinator, Froedtert & Community Health, Menomonee Falls, WI
Rebecca Imes, PhD , Department of Communication, Carroll University, Waukesha, WI
Pamela Pinahs-Schulz, PhD, CHES , Department of Health Science, Carroll University, Waukesha, WI
Recent disasters highlight the need of a more informed and prepared public. Those with special needs may be particularly in need of preparation for and assistance in disasters, yet many state plans do not directly address these populations. Working off the premise that health professions' students are a natural population for disaster management training, an interdisciplinary and inter-organizational committee designed and delivered a week long pilot course at a small university in the Midwest for disaster management with a focus on special needs populations. The committee consisted of professors of nursing, physical therapy, athletic training, communication, and emergency medicine, and organizations including a small private university, a medical school, the Red Cross, the region's hospital and community emergency management representative and the county's developmental disabilities advisory committee. The course augmented FEMA and AMA disaster modules with 2.5 days of lecture/small group discussion and 1.5 days of functional lab exercises for 34 students (undergraduate nursing and athletic training as well as graduate physical therapy). Faculty assigned to small groups of students taught chemical exposure/injury triage in a half-day lab with standardized patients and mannequins. A second half-day simulation included an incident command center and simulated patients. This presentation will highlight lessons learned from the experience of designing and delivering this class. Evaluation data from the course is under analysis and will be used to improve curriculum content and delivery. The re-designed curriculum is to be made available to other educational agencies that may want to replicate aspects of the course.

Learning Objectives:
1. Attendees will be able to explain the process of coordinating multiple disciplines and agencies to design and teach the course together. 2. Attendees will be able to formulate plans for a similar course that fits the needs of their own communities. 3. Attendees will be able to evaluate the usefulness of the designed course based on information provided about community need and student feedback information.

Keywords: Special Needs, Community Collaboration

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: BSN - UW - Madison Primary Care Nursing; Received a Community Mental Health Federal Training Grant; MS - Nursing UW - Milwaukee. I have taught disaster and emergency preparedness with undergraduate nursing students and created educational films with BSN nursing students related to emergency preparedness. I worked with an interdisciplinary team that included a county disabilities advocacy group to develop an elective course in all hazards preparedness with a focus on special needs populations.
Any relevant financial relationships? Yes

Name of Organization Clinical/Research Area Type of relationship
Health Care for the Homeless Milwaukee Infectious disease prevention and control Consultant

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.