The impact of an online interprofessional course in disaster management competency and attitude towards interprofessional learning
A recent national assessment of emergency planning in Canada suggests that health care professionals are not properly prepared for disasters. In response to this gap, an interprofessional course in disaster management was developed, implemented and evaluated in Toronto, Canada from 2007 to 2008. Undergraduate students from five educational institutions in nursing, medicine, paramedicine, police, media and health administration programs took an eight-week online course. The course was highly interactive and included video, a discussion forum, an online board game and opportunity to participate in a high fidelity disaster simulation with professional staff. Curriculum developers set interprofessional competency as a major course outcome and this concept guided every aspect of content and activity development. A study was conducted to examine change in students' perceptions of disaster management competency and interprofessional attitudes after the course was completed. Results indicate that the course helped students master basic disaster management content and raised their awareness of, and appreciation for, other members of the interdisciplinary team. The undergraduate curriculum must support the development of collaborative competencies and ensure learners are prepared to work in collaborative practice.
PubMed URL: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19842952