Educating Medical Staff About Responding to a Radiological or Nuclear Emergency : Health Physics

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Articles: Operational Topic

Educating Medical Staff About Responding to a Radiological or Nuclear Emergency

McCurley, M Carol*; Miller, Charles W.*; Tucker, Florie E.; Guinn, Amy; Donnelly, Elizabeth*; Ansari, Armin*; Holcombe, Maire*; Nemhauser, Jeffrey B.*; Whitcomb, Robert C. Jr*

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Health Physics 96(5):p S50-S54, May 2009. | DOI: 10.1097/01.HP.0000339001.77899.15

Abstract

A growing body of audience research reveals medical personnel in hospitals are unprepared for a large-scale radiological emergency such as a terrorist event involving radioactive or nuclear materials. Also, medical personnel in hospitals lack a basic understanding of radiation principles, as well as diagnostic and treatment guidelines for radiation exposure. Clinicians have indicated that they lack sufficient training on radiological emergency preparedness; they are potentially unwilling to treat patients if those patients are perceived to be radiologically contaminated; and they have major concerns about public panic and overloading of clinical systems. In response to these findings, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has developed a tool kit for use by hospital medical personnel who may be called on to respond to unintentional or intentional mass-casualty radiological and nuclear events. This tool kit includes clinician fact sheets, a clinician pocket guide, a digital video disc (DVD) of just-in-time basic skills training, a CD-ROM training on mass-casualty management, and a satellite broadcast dealing with medical management of radiological events. CDC training information emphasizes the key role that medical health physicists can play in the education and support of emergency department activities following a radiological or nuclear mass-casualty event.

©2009Health Physics Society

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