Healthcare worker training addresses personal protection against Coronavirus exposure

DHS/FEMA-funded courses cover the latest information on the Coronavirus

College Station, Texas, UNITED STATES


COLLEGE STATION, TEXAS, March 06, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- DHS/FEMA training for healthcare personnel on infectious diseases includes the latest information on the novel coronavirus, which has spread from Wuhan, China, to the United States and over 80 countries worldwide. According to the World Health Organization, over 3,200 people have died and more than 95,000 have been infected with COVID-19 since the new strain of coronavirus was identified in December 2019.

The Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX) offers DHS/FEMA training to U.S. medical and first responder communities on identifying diseases or pathogens and managing patient care, while protecting themselves from exposure and contamination through proper use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

The CDC is recommending healthcare workers use infection control procedures and appropriate PPE to prevent exposure and spreading the coronavirus infection. CDC guidelines include ensuring healthcare personnel have appropriate PPE and receive training in how to properly don, use and doff PPE to prevent self-contamination, and then properly dispose of or decontaminate the PPE.

Since the Ebola outbreak in 2014, TEEX has trained almost 11,000 healthcare workers to properly use Level C Personal Protective Equipment, in accordance with OSHA and CDC standards, through its course, Personal Protective Measures for Biological Events (PER320), said Jesse Watkins, Operations Director with the TEEX National Emergency Response and Recovery Training Center.

The one-day course, developed by the Center for Domestic Preparedness, is offered at no cost nationwide to healthcare personnel who might come in contact with a toxin, pathogen or infectious virus, such as coronavirus, he added. Participants get hands-on practice in donning and doffing PPE and also learn to perform technical decontamination.

Other public health training TEEX offers includes “Medical Management of CBRNE Events,” where adult and pediatric human patient simulators are used as training aids to simulate various effects of exposure to disease and toxins, as well as chemical agents and radiological or nuclear materials.

TEEX has also trained thousands of medical personnel and first responders nationwide in “Medical Countermeasures” to a large-scale public health incident, such as a highly contagious disease or pandemic requiring mass prophylaxis. Instructors in the Medical Countermeasures course stress the importance of educating the public on disease spread, measures to protect family members from disease and how to receive prophylactic medications if needed.

These training programs are offered nationwide at no cost under the DHS/FEMA Homeland Security National Training Program Cooperative Agreement. The courses are provided through TEEX’s National Emergency Response and Recovery Training Center, a member of the National Domestic Preparedness Consortium (NDPC). Target audiences include healthcare personnel, emergency responders, workers at Ports of Entry and any personnel who might come into contact with a dangerous biological agent.

To learn more about the coronavirus, visit:

 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or World Health Organization.

To learn more about TEEX training for healthcare personnel, visit www.teex.org/nerrtc and click on “EMS/Public Health Emergency Preparedness.”

 

Course Links:

PER320: Personal Protective Measures for Biological Events

PER211: Medical Management of CBRNE Events

MGT319: Medical Countermeasures: Point of Dispensing (POD), Planning and Response

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An instructor demonstrates the proper use of a face mask and shield for protecting healthcare workers from infectious diseases or toxins.

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