Background: Providing comprehensive emergency preparedness training (EPT) for patient care providers is important to the future success of emergency preparedness operations in the United States. Disasters are rare, complex events involving many patients and environmental factors that are difficult to reproduce in a training environment. Few EPT programs possess both competency-driven goals and metrics to measure life-saving performance during a multiactor simulated disaster.
Methods: The development of an EPT curriculum for patient care providers-provided first to medical students, then to a group of experienced disaster medical providers-that recreates a simulated clinical disaster using a combination of up to 15 live actors and six high-fidelity human simulators is described. Specifically, the authors detail the Center for Health Professional Training and Emergency Response's (CHPTER's) 1-day clinical EPT course including its organization, core competency development, medical student self-evaluation, and course assessment.
Results: Two 1-day courses hosted by CHPTER were conducted in a university simulation center. Students who completed the course improved their overall knowledge and comfort level with EPT skills.
Conclusions: The authors believe this is the first published description of a curriculum method that combines high-fidelity, multiactor scenarios to measure the life-saving performance of patient care providers utilizing a clinical disaster scenario with > 10 patients at once. A larger scale study, or preferably a multicenter trial, is needed to further study the impact of this curriculum and its potential to protect provider and patient lives.