An assessment of bioterrorism competencies among health practitioners in Australia

Canyon, D.V. (2009) An assessment of bioterrorism competencies among health practitioners in Australia. Emerging Health Threats Journal, 2 (e7). pp. 2-14.

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Public health and medical professionals are expected to be well prepared for emergencies, as they assume an integral role in any response. They need to be aware of planning issues, be able to identify their roles in emergency situations, and show functional competence. However, media perceptions and non-empirical publications often lack an evidence base when addressing this topic. This study attempted to assess the competencies of various health professionals by obtaining quantitative data on the state of bioterrorism preparedness and response competencies in Australia using an extensive set of competencies developed by Kristine Gebbie from the Columbia University School of Nursing Center for Health Policy with funding from the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention. These competencies reflect the knowledge, capabilities, and skills that are necessary for best practice in public health. Sufficient data were collected to enable comparison between public health leaders, communicable disease specialists, clinicians (with and without medical degrees), and environmental health professionals. All health professionals performed well. However, the primary finding of this study was that clinicians consistently self-assessed themselves as lower in competence, and clinicians with medical degrees self-assessed themselves as the lowest in bioterrorism competence. This has important implications for health professional training, national benchmarks, standards, and competencies for the public health workforce.

Item ID: 12163
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1752-8550
Date Deposited: 13 Nov 2010 00:20
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111799 Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9299 Other Health > 929999 Health not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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