Periodic Refresher Emails for Emergency Department Mass Casualty Incident Plans
Audience and Type of Curriculum:
This mass casualty incident (MCI) curriculum is intended for use as refresher content in the months between more formal education, such as hands-on MCI training and drills. The target audience for each topic varies, but the majority of them apply to all disciplines such as direct patient care roles (emergency room technicians, nurses, paramedics, advanced practice practitioners, resident physicians, attending physicians, etc.) and emergency department clerks/coordinators. Topics intended for only one or more discipline are labeled as such. See curriculum chart or email schedule (Appendix AI) for details.
Length of Curriculum:
This curriculum is intended for use as weekly refresher emails spanning up to a 30-week period.
There have been an increasing number of mass casualty events occurring throughout the country in recent years, many of which involve penetrating trauma. Education surrounding response to an MCI is broad and has many complex and ever-changing aspects that require staff to be updated on the most current information.
This curriculum is intended to maintain a knowledge base of MCI processes to mitigate degradation of necessary knowledge between hands-on MCI training.
The educational strategies used in this curriculum include short weekly refresher emails and optional external links for further reading.
This content was evaluated for efficacy by administering electronic knowledge tests at baseline, mid-way (at 16 weeks), and at the end of the curriculum (32 weeks) via email. Additionally, brief content questions were asked in person while staff members were on shift throughout the entire study period, and a post-study survey was administered in order to obtain staff opinions on email length and training processes in general.
Scores for the knowledge tests were slightly higher at the end of the 32 weeks compared to baseline. Subjective feedback was positive overall at the end of the testing period.
Training and maintaining knowledge of roles and concepts of mass casualty incidents is vital since such events will never happen when expected. Short refresher emails allow educators to use spaced repetition and interleaving methods which have been shown to be a helpful adjunct to maintain knowledge, skills, and attitudes learned in more formal training.1,2
Mass casualty incident, emergency department, decontamination, blast injury, media relations, biological agents, reprocessing, crisis standard of care, SALT (Sort, Assess, Lifesaving Interventions, Treatment/Transport) triage, personal protective equipment, disaster carts, airways, passive security, family reunification.