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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 57-61

Simulating a disaster: Preparing responders in India

1 Department of Emergency Medicine, Division of International Emergency Medicine, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, USA
2 Department of Emergency Medicine, Division of International Emergency Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, USA
3 Department of Emergency Medicine, Division of International Emergency Medicine, SUNY Downstate Medical Center, Brooklyn, New York, USA

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Benjamin Kaufman
622 West 168th Street, New York, NY 10014
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/IJAM.IJAM_28_18

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Objective: This study evaluates the effectiveness of a novel modality created by our team to teach disaster preparedness consisting of tabletop drills and disaster simulation. Based on the Incident Command System (ICS) framework, our system prepares medical providers to respond independently to country-level disasters. Background: Disaster response remains an important component of emergency preparedness internationally. To this end, the ICS provides a standardized approach to the command, control, and coordination of emergency response. Methods: A 2-day workshop was conducted with medical providers in Bangalore, India, that used serial disaster simulations to improve disaster response using the ICS. Through increasing responsibility and self-directed tabletops, the participants (doctors, medical students, nurses, and police) gained the skills to respond independently to a simulated countrywide disaster. After the exercise, they were asked to grade the usefulness of simulation and lectures. Results: Forty-four providers responded to the questionnaire, all of which (n = 44, 100%) recommended the course. They graded the final disaster drill as most useful (n = 36, 82%) and also graded lectures from topic experts as useful (n = 36, 83%). Based on qualitative written feedback, participants felt drills helped them in communication and leadership. Conclusion: This novel teaching modality, using simulation and tabletop drills, is an effective tool to teach the ICS to medical providers. Participants felt that they benefitted from training and would respond better to future disasters. The following core competencies are addressed in this article: Systems-based practice, Patient care, Interpersonal and communication skills.

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