Examining the importance of incorporating emergency preparedness and disaster training core competencies into allied health curricula as perceived by college instructors
Preparation for responding to emergency events that does not warrant outside help beyond the local community resources or responding to disaster events that is beyond the capabilities of the local community both require first responders and health care professionals to have interdisciplinary skills needed to function as a team for saving lives. To date, there is no core emergency preparedness and disaster planning competencies that have been standardized at all levels across the various allied health curricula disciplines. The purposes of this study was to identify if emergency preparedness and disaster training content is currently being taught in allied health program courses, identify possible gaps within allied health curricula, and explore the perceptions of allied health college educators for implementing emergency preparedness and disaster training core competencies into their existing curricula, if not already included. A quantitative data collection was employed in which 51 allied health college educators completed an online survey questionnaire. Descriptive statistics was used to answer the research questions. A Pearson correlation was conducted to address the null hypothesis. An analysis of variance was computed to help support investigations. Findings of this study indicated that the majority of allied health college instructors do not currently teach emergency preparedness and disaster training core competency content within their allied health discipline; however, their perceived level of importance for inclusion of the competencies was high. The results of this study supported the need for establishing a national set of standardized core emergency preparedness and disaster planning competencies at all levels across various allied health curricula disciplines to ensure victims receive the best patient care and have the best possible chance of survival.