Emergency Preparedness Education and Training for Health Professionals: A Blueprint for Future Action

Division of Family Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine, Mod G, 1215 Welch Rd., Palo Alto, CA 94305, USA.
Biosecurity and bioterrorism: biodefense strategy, practice, and science (Impact Factor: 1.64). 03/2010; 8(1):79-83. DOI: 10.1089/bsp.2009.0044
Source: PubMed
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    ABSTRACT: Background: All citizens need to have a personal disaster plan, but past studies indicate poor preparedness. Predictors of preparedness need to be clearly defined so interventions can be developed. Methods: Human resource (HR) professionals were sent an online survey in May-July, 2011 that assessed their personal/family disaster plan for natural disasters and pandemics, determinants of preparedness, and attitudes and beliefs regarding disaster preparedness. Linear regressions were used to describe factors associated with higher preparedness scores. Chi squares compared attitudes and beliefs about preparedness by whether or not their employer encouraged them to have a personal plan. Results: 471 HR professionals from 33 states participated. Average scores for personal and pandemic preparedness were 12.6 (0 - 20 range) and 4.5 (0- 9 range), respectively. One-third (35.3%, n = 100) had half or fewer preparedness measures, and half (47%, n = 133) had 4 or fewer of the 9 possible pandemic preparedness measures. Determinants of personal preparedness included high perception of personal preparedness for natural disasters and pandemics, having fewer years of work experience, being encouraged by the employer to have a personal preparedness plan, having received disaster preparedness training during the past two years, and not having children in the household. From linear regression, determinants of pandemic preparedness were high perception of personal preparedness for both natural disasters and pandemics, not having children in the household, being male, and having received disaster preparedness training during the past two years. HR professionals whose employer encouraged him/her to have a personal disaster plan had significantly higher perceived importance for family and business preparedness, and higher perceived preparedness compared to those whose employers have not encouraged them to have a personal plan (p<.001 for all). Conclusion: HR professionals will play a critical role during a disaster, but many lack personal preparedness.
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