Disaster Health Competencies
One of the NCDMPH's strategies for improving the education and training of responders is the identification, integration and promotion of national core competencies in disaster health; these are widely understood to be the knowledge needed for a health care professional to perform a task in a safe and consistent manner.
In the complex field of disaster medicine and public health, the concept of competencies is an important tool for measuring a responder's ability to perform wide-ranging and highly-skilled tasks.
The use of competencies can allow for greater consistency in the knowledge and skills of responders, as well as the identification of areas of weakness and need. By establishing guidelines for competencies, the NCDMPH will be able to better assess, and ultimately improve, the education and training knowledge of disaster responders.
This annotated bibliography contains resources pertaining to disaster healthcare workforce competencies. These resources include white papers, grey literature, and publications categorized in Walsh et al, 2014, and the resources listed in this competency connector are organized by the categories found in that paper. These categories are defined below. Resources were chosen based on the following criteria: the document had to have enumerated specific competencies for learning in disaster health, be directed toward a health or health-related profession, and be written in English.
Please note: Some categories do not contain any resources, as we are not currently aware of published content existing for these particular categories.
Core Competencies Project-NCDMPH/AMA TIIDE
In August 2010, the American Medical Association (AMA) Center for Public Health Preparedness and Disaster Response (CPHPDR) convened representatives of multiple health fields, including staff from the
The project was funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention under the Terrorism Injuries: Information Dissemination and Exchange (TIIDE) Program, and became known as the NCDMPH/AMA TIIDE project.NCDMPH, to collaboratively identify the common or "core" competencies that could be reasonably expected of all potential Emergency Support Function #8 (ESF-8) health system responders.
In March of 2012, the goals of the project were realized with the publication of "Core Competencies for Disaster Medicine and Public Health" in Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness (DMPHP).
The article's 11 core competencies (and 36 sub-competencies) are a result of two years of discussion, survey questionnaires and research from a broad and diverse group of stakeholders.
Five staff members from the NCDMPH (Dr. Kenneth Schor, Kandra Strauss-Riggs, Dr. Brian Altman, and former Senior Research Associates Rebecca Zukowski and lead-author Lauren Walsh) contributed to the article.
Resources for Competencies
Below you will find resources linked to each of the 11 core competencies from the "Core Competencies for Disaster Medicine and Public Health." article published in Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness in March of 2012. These resources can be used to train and educate all health professionals for disasters and public health emergencies. Although external materials are not officially endorsed by the NCDMPH, they are suggested resources for your use.
Before reviewing the competency resource tables, you may wish to look at these background resources:
National Preparedness Goal . U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Federal Emergency Management Agency (Sept 2011).
Disaster-related competencies for healthcare providers. Disaster Information Management Research Center. National Library of Medicine.
Altman BA, Strauss-Riggs K, Schor KW. Capturing the range of learning: Implications for disaster health in a resource constrained future . National Center for Disaster Medicine and Public Health (Dec 2012).
Disaster health learning resources - An annotated bibliography. National Center for Disaster Medicine and Public Health.
Core Competencies for Disaster Medicine and Public Health1
1.0 Demonstrate personal and family preparedness for disasters and public health emergencies
2.0 Demonstrate knowledge of one's expected role(s) in organizational and community response plans activated during a disaster or public health emergency
3.0 Demonstrate situational awareness of actual/potential health hazards before, during, and after a disaster or public health emergency
4.0 Communicate effectively with others in a disaster or public health emergency
5.0 Demonstrate knowledge of personal safety measures that can be implemented in a disaster or public health emergency
6.0 Demonstrate knowledge of surge capacity assets, consistent with one's role in organizational, agency, and/or community response plans
7.0 Demonstrate knowledge of principles and practices for the clinical management of all ages and populations affected by disasters and public health emergencies, in accordance with professional scope of practice
8.0 Demonstrate knowledge of public health principles and practices for the management of all ages and populations affected by disasters and public health emergencies
9.0 Demonstrate knowledge of ethical principles to protect the health and safety of all ages, populations, and communities affected by a disaster or public health emergency
10.0 Demonstrate knowledge of legal principles to protect the health and safety of all ages, populations, and communities affected by a disaster or public health emergency
11.0 Demonstrate knowledge of short- and long-term considerations for recovery of all ages, populations, and communities affected by a disaster or public health emergency
Swienton RE, Subbarao I, Markenson DS. eds. Basic Disaster Life Support Course Manual. Vol 3.0. Chicago, IL: American Medical Association; 2012.
Armstrong JH, Schwartz RB. eds. Advanced Disaster Life Support Course Manual. Vol 3.0. Chicago, IL: American Medical Association; 2012.
Coule PL, Mitas JA II. eds. Core Disaster Life Support Course Manual. Vol 3.0. Chicago, IL, American Medical Association; 2010.
1. Walsh L, Subbarao I, Gebbie K, et al. Core competencies for disaster medicine and public health. Disaster Med Public Health Prep. 2012 Mar;6(1):44-52. doi: 10.1001/dmp.2012.4.
The NCDMPH welcomes your comments and input on this evolving resource document. Please direct comments via email to Kelly Harrison Gulley at kelly.gulley.ctr at usuhs.edu.
Proposals for Aligning Disaster Health Competency Models
The National Center for Disaster Medicine and Public Health's Acting Director Dr. Kenneth W. Schor and Education Coordinator Dr. Brian Altman recently published an article in the February 2013 edition of Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness. "Proposals for Aligning Disaster Health Competency Models" (2013; 7: 8-12) provides suggestions for standardizing and aligning the building blocks of disaster health competency models. Drs. Schor and Altman suggest that uniformity across competency frameworks will facilitate comparison between different models.
The article recommends that competency builders use the article's reinterpretation of the research, development, test, and evaluation construct (RDT&E) when producing their competency sets. In addition, Drs. Schor and Altman encourage developers to consider content in at least 4 key areas: disaster-type domain, systems domain, clinical domain, and public health domain. Finally, the article advises competency model designers to constantly consider the challenges of the disaster work environment when creating their model.