Office of Interprofessional Education

MSC 11 6055
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131-0001

Physical Location:
SURGE Building (#226)
Suite 140, Room 151A (first floor)

Phone: (505) 272-1613

2016 Public Health Emergency Preparedness & Case Study

2016 PHEP Tornado N/P auditoriumTornadoes in NM? HSC Students Train in Public Health Emergency

On March 22, 114 HSC students participated in a 4 hour Interprofessional Disaster Preparedness Event held in the College of Nursing and Pharmacy auditorium and classrooms.  A diverse set of students came from the following programs:  Paramedic, nursing, medical laboratory sciences, nuclear medicine, public health, magnetic resonance imaging, and computed tomography. 

The Event’s concepts emphasized the IPEC Core Competencies‒the roles and responsibilities within and beyond professional training for response to emergency health needs of a community, and to ensure effective communication to respond to and enact a public health emergency medical response.  Students learned to interact as a team with other disciplines by discovering each profession's unique role and applying it to improve patient outcomes.  A tornado hazard was chosen as the scenario for practice purposes and students also learned about responding to disasters by analyzing a hypothetical Tornado scenario.

As a precursor to the live activity, all students were required to complete two online FEMA courses (FEMA IS-100 and FEMA IS-700), read The Varying Faces of Disaster by Sharon Druce, as well as complete assigned readings from their respective faculty instructors.

Nineteen facilitators were actively involved representing: the Department of Emergency Medicine, the Preventative Medicine Residency Program, Emergency Management Graduate Programs, UNM College of Nursing, the New Mexico Department of Health, Medical Laboratory Sciences, Department of Radiology and Pathology, and one community member. (See May-June IPE Insight, p. 6 for list)

Initially, students were assembled in the auditorium. All were given a pre-survey to assess attitudes and experiences with interprofessional education.  Students then participated in a one-hour welcoming session including an introduction to coordinating faculty and guest speakers, an overview of events, information on the value of interprofessional interactions, and further information on how those interactions are vital to emergency preparedness. 

Among the guest speakers/presenters were: John W. Miller, NMCEM, Strategic National Stockpile and Medical Counter-measure Coordinator from the New Mexico Department of Health; Dr. Laura Banks, Assistant Professor, UNM Department of Emergency Medicine and Director of the UNM Center for Disaster Medicine, Peter W. Loomis, DDS, Assistant Professor from the UNM Departments of Pediatrics and Pathology, and Chandra Gerrard, Lecturer III from the UNM Department of Radiology and Pathology, and Dr. Krista Salazar, Associate Professor and IPE Coordinator at the UNM College of Pharmacy. 

As Forensic Odontologist at the New Mexico Office of the Medical Investigator, Peter W. Loomis, DDS, presented on mass fatality incidents.  Dr. Loomis, who served as a team member during the response to the Joplin, Missouri tornado in 2011, described the nation’s standard disaster procedures and detailed the tornado response in Joplin.  Laura Banks spoke on emergency preparedness on campus and the likelihood of tornado events in New Mexico. 

Following the presentations, students divided into interprofessional small groups and moved into separate classrooms to allow for collaboration on the three phases of the Tornado case.  The small groups were later combined to form multiple presentation groups who presented their work on one of the three case phases to all the other students. In this larger setting, students were able to compare and contrast their own ideas with their colleagues. 

At the conclusion, students completed a course feedback worksheet and an individual post-survey to determine their attitudes after participating in the activity as well as any comments they wished to share.