Learning Objectives & Activities

Wildfires - Ideas for Educators of Health Professionals

Below are ideas for educators who are teaching health professionals and may wish to develop learning content or activities related to health impacts of wildfires. These ideas should be customized based on the learners, their needs, scope of practice, and the educational context.

Options for Learning Objectives:

At the end of the learning activity, the learner will be able to:

  1. Describe how wildfires impact human health, especially in health systems, clinical, behavioral, and public health dimensions, including evacuation and population displacement effects.

  2. State ways in which health professionals can contribute to preparedness for, response to, and recovery from wildfires given their scope of practice.

  3. Critically analyze the multiple role-based expectations of health professionals in wildfire disasters. Major role categories include:

    • individual

    • family (significant others)

    • organization

    • profession

    • community

  4. List environmental health risks associated with wildfires.

Options for Learning Activities:

  1. Walk through the resources [link to Resilience Through Learning page with resources] online during class and discuss their applicability and utility for the learner.

  2. Lead a class discussion about the health and systems impacts of wildfires. Possible discussion questions are:

    • Describe the top 3 causes of illness and injury associated with wildfires.

    • What are the public health implications of wildfires?

    • Are there unique behavioral health considerations for wildfire disasters?

    • How have population displacements associated with wildfires affected the health of the evacuees and what are the health system challenges in supporting these populations?

  3. Ask learners to respond to the following question, either verbally or in writing: How can you as a health professional, within your scope of practice, contribute to the preparedness for, response to, and recovery from a wildfire?

  4. In the context of a wildfire disaster, consider the following:

    • What do you expect of yourself?

    • What does your family (significant others) expect of you?

    • What does your organization expect of you?

    • What does your profession expect of you?

    • What does the community expect of you?

  5. Invite learners to work in small groups to draft a public service announcement for your county on actions citizens should take to reduce injury and death from wildfires.

  6. Invite a member of another response professional group to discuss interprofessional coordination and collaboration necessary in response to a wildfire. Discuss barriers to such interprofessional coordination and collaboration.

  7. Divide the class into groups. Ask group members to list 3 or more actions they would recommend being taken to address the environmental health impacts of wildfires and share these with the full group.

  8. As a class, discuss how different organizations would work together to address health implications if a wildfire were threatening your community. Discuss how the professions and organizations represented by learners in the class would contribute.