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Johns Hopkins University

Disaster Preparedness for the Health Care Professional

Johns Hopkins University via Coursera

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In this state of the art course we will be discussing personal and hospital-based preparedness for disasters and large-scale public health emergencies. This course will provide students with a heightened awareness and understanding of the natural and man-made hazards that create disaster events. Each topic in the course is presented by a leader and subject matter expert, allowing students to learn from some of the most highly-recognized stakeholders in disaster preparedness. Course content is designed to assist health care providers and students in acquiring cutting-edge, evidence-based disaster knowledge and skills in order to respond in a timely and appropriate manner and ultimately to increase hospital surge capacity. 

We start by presenting an overview of the foundational concepts underlying disaster preparedness with a focus on understanding individual health care provider roles and responsibilities within our existing emergency response systems as well as for personal and family preparedness. Next, we consider all components of a well-designed hospital preparedness program including redundant communications and situational awareness, the role of the health care provider in disaster operations and logistics, and education and training for workforce development. Finally, we cover the roles and responsibilities of health care providers in response to specific disaster and public health emergency events resulting from acts of terrorism, pandemic influenza and emerging highly infectious disease, chemical, biological and radiological emergencies, and natural disasters. 

In this six-week course, health care providers will acquire foundational knowledge in the health care management of victims of natural and man-made disasters and new strategies for increasing hospital surge capacity. Utilizing course exercises, case studies, and online discussions, students will have the opportunity to identify strategies and expert practices in the care of victims of disasters and public health emergencies.


WEEK 1: Disaster Preparedness: Overview
  • Basic Foundational Concepts of Disaster Preparedness
  • Incident Command System and Leadership at the Unit Level
  • Disaster Communication and Situational Awareness
  • Establishing Personal and Family Preparedness
  • United States Federal Disaster Resources
WEEK 2: Hospital-Based Readiness
  • Hospital Preparedness Overview
  • Creating Surge Capacity (Lifeboat Ethics)
  • Disaster and Mass Casualty Triage
  • Workforce Readiness and Willingness to Respond
  • Disaster Drills
WEEK 3: Terrorism 
  • Active Shooter and Dangerous Persons
  • Terrorism, Bomb Threats, and Other Internal Threats
  • Burn Casualty Management
  • Bomb and Blast Injury Management
WEEK 4: Chemical and Radiation Events
  • Chemical Emergencies
  • Radiation Emergency Management Overview
  • Responding to Radiation Events
  • Use of Personal Protective Equipment
  • Decontamination
WEEK 5: Pandemic Influenza and Emerging Infections
  • Seasonal and Pandemic Influenza 
  • Responding to Emerging Infectious Disease Outbreaks
  • Disease Containment Strategies
  • Protective Equipment for Safety During Infectious Disease Outbreaks
WEEK 6: Natural Disasters
  • Planning for Natural Disasters
  • Activation of the Hospital EOC in Response to Natural Disasters
  • Morbidity and Mortality Related to Natural Disasters
  • Advancing the Science: Current Research Efforts
  • Q and A  "Ask Us Anything"

Taught by

Tener Veenema


4.3 rating, based on 3 Class Central reviews

Start your review of Disaster Preparedness for the Health Care Professional

  • Very good overview and context for disaster preparedness in the health sector, as well as clear guidance for health professionals to begin or improve their preparedness across a range of aspects.
  • Sarah
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    Ais Sparkle Ling

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