250294 EMS workers willingness to report to work during a flu epidemic

Monday, October 31, 2011

Ilan Klein, MEM , Department of Emergency Medicine, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer Sheva, Israel
Ran Balicer, MD, MPH , Epidemiology Department, Faculty of Health Sciences, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Head, Health Policy Planning Department, Planning and Health Policy Division, Clalit Health Services, Tel-Aviv, Israel
Eli Yaffe, PhD , MDA International Institute, Magen David Adom, Tel Aviv, Israel
Limor Aharonson-Daniel, PhD , PREPARED Center for Emergency Response Research & Dept. of Emergency Medicine, Recanati School for Community Health Professions, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev Faculty of Health Sciences, Beer Sheva, Israel
Background: EMS workers role in the response to pandemic flu is vital. It is therefore important to understand the factors influencing their willingness to respond during such times. An efficient response to a wide spread disease will rely upon the continuing of routine work by the majority of the workers of the national emergency health service - Magen David Adom (MDA). Aims: To define the factors that will affect the willingness of MDA workers to report to work during a flu pandemic Methods: A representative sample of Israel national EMS workers was surveyed between November 2009 and January 2010. Questionnaires enquired about knowledge and attitudes of MDA workers regarding pandemic flu and factors that may influence their willingness to report to work. Results: 396 questionnaires were completed, comprising 35% of all workers in the organization in a proportional geographic sampling. The majority of the population were male (73%), 84% were aged 20-49, half had high-school education only. The two important factors contributing to willingness to report to work were own physical protection and family safety: 28% of the subjects felt unprotected at work during a flu pandemic. 22% of the subjects believed that their family could not manage in their absence. Nevertheless, willingness to report to work was very high (92%). Conclusions and recommendations: Workers reported high commitment to work, yet they conveyed two specific concerns: deficient sense of protection and family safety. Employers should seek to improve the sense of protection while working, train and educate regarding sibling illness.

Learning Areas:
Occupational health and safety
Provision of health care to the public

Learning Objectives:
To explore and describe the level of knowledge of EMS workers regarding pandemic flu To understand attitudes of EMS workers towards their responsibilities during a flu pandemic. To identify factors that may influence EMS workers willingness to report to work during a pandemic

Keywords: EMS/Trauma, Workforce

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to be an abstract Author on the content I am responsible for because it is the outcome of my masters dissertation - I conceived the study, I carried it out, I analyzed the data and I wrote it up.
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.