Roles for healthcare volunteers during Ebola and infectious disease outbreaks: A web survey of Oregon's registered volunteers
Methods: A web survey was designed and distributed, with responses required and survey closed within seven days due to the need for rapid planning related to the evolving incident. Questions were primarily open-ended in order to avoid all bias, and responses were coded thematically.
Results/Outcomes: The largest categories of primary roles identified for volunteers in infectious disease response included suggested education of members of the community (33%), patient screening (12%), triage (10%) and staffing call centers (7%). In terms of readiness and training to perform those roles, overall 39% felt extremely or very well prepared, 37% moderately prepared, and 22% only slightly or not at all prepared.
Conclusions: The volunteer respondents identified far more roles that were expected that would support of the overall public health response to an emerging infections disease outbreak, and not simply emergency clinical care roles as was expected.
Learning Areas:Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Other professions or practice related to public health
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Protection of the public in relation to communicable diseases including prevention or control
List at least three new roles identified by healthcare volunteers related to Ebola and other emerging infectious disease outbreaks
Keyword(s): Emergency Preparedness, Workforce
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have a doctorate in public health leadership with a focus on emergency preparedness, and coordinate all of the state of Oregonâs registered emergency healthcare volunteers, with duties that include statewide planning, exercise and deployment after action reviews, and program evaluation.
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.