Bioterrorism Education for Military and University Nurses


Name: Major King


Organization: The Geneva Foundation

Performance Site: Navy Medical Center, San Diego and UCLA School of Nursing

Year Published: 2003

Abstract Status: Initial


Measures to increase the capacity of our public health system and adequately train emergency medical and public health personnel are underway to address the threat of biological and chemical terrorism. However, little attention has been directed to naval military nurses who are assigned to treatment facilities and may be deployed with the forces during hostilities, or nurses who are involved in completing University degrees, and are currently involved in or are being educated for, future employment as advanced practice nurses and nurse scientists/educators in acute care and community settings and institutes of higher education. These nurses are often the first line providers for health care seekers. For these nursing professionals to function effectively, an integrated education and training program that is effective in increasing knowledge, skills, and problem-solving proficiencies in response to bioterrorism attacks and in maintaining resultant gains is critical. The purpose of this two-phased study, incorporating a qualitative approach, followed by a randomized, two-group, quasi-experimental pilot study, is to assess the effectiveness of a problem-solving Computerized Education and Training program compared to a Standard Bioterrorism Education and Training Program with 300 active duty nurses at the Naval Medical Center San Diego (NMCSD), or 300 enrolled nurses and faculty at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Nursing. This study represents an academic-community partnership between NMCSD, the UCLA Schools of Nursing, Medicine and Public Health and their respective Centers, and the Los Angeles County Public Health Nursing Department. A Community Advisory Board composed of investigators from the community and academic partners will assist in designing the online module for this study focusing on biological threats, with a special focus on Anthrax infection, and delivered via the School of Medicine's Health and Medical Education IMMEX (Interactive MultiMedia Exercise) system. The long-term goals are to design and develop a complete and sustainable computerized Bioterrorism Education and Training Program, composed of a number of modules that can be customized for a broad array of health care professionals including Nursing, Medicine and Public Health.