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College of Nursing and Health Professions to host Basic Disaster Life Support class

Dec. 2, 2008 -- In a continuing effort to prepare current and future professionals from multiple disciplines to respond to disasters, Arkansas State University’s College of Nursing and Health Professions is hosting a Basic Disaster Life Support (BDLS) course Monday and Tuesday, Dec. 15-16, in the Hames Rooms at the Convocation Center, 217 Olympic Drive.

Arkansas State’s emergency response unit, including the top administrators of ASU, is involved, demonstrating the commitment to planning for the best possible response should the ASU community be struck by disaster. ASU’s commitment to preparing for disasters does not end with the students and community professionals.

The BDLS course provides a four-year certification in basic disaster life support. These classes are applicable to community leaders, law enforcement, fire fighters, paramedics, nurses, doctors, pharmacists, administrators, city planners, or anyone with a potential role in disaster response.

The course includes additional training and review of all natural and accidental hazards involving man-made, traumatic, and explosive events; nuclear and radiological events, biological events; and chemical events. Critical areas including healthcare professionals’ roles in the public health and incident management systems, community mental health, and special needs of underserved and vulnerable populations are examined as well as roles by ASU’s response team of operations, public information, staging, and finance personnel.

“For the past three years the ASU Regional Training Center for Disaster Life Support has offered courses in Basic and Advanced Disaster Life Support,” said Dr. Debbie Persell, assistant professor of nursing. “However, this year has seen the largest number of students in the center’s history completing the courses. Every student admitted to a nursing or health professions major has the opportunity to attend BDLS this academic year at no cost to them. This has been made possible by the commitment and generosity of Dr. Susan Hanrahan, dean of the College of Nursing and Health Professions (CNHP).”

Approximately 800 CNHP students will complete BDLS this year, as will numerous disaster response professionals across Northeast Arkansas. Arkansas State University is the first in the nation to require this important training for all of its health professions students.

With the use of the D-I-S-A-S-T-E-R (detect, incident command, scene security and safety, assess hazards, support, triage, evacuation, recovery) paradigm, BDLS provides training in detecting disasters, incident command, securing the scene and making it safe for responders to go in, assessing the scene for additional hazards, garnering additional support services, establishing triage and treatment, and standing ready for evacuation and recovery.

Advanced Disaster Lift Support (ADLS) offers a hands-on experience through a disaster drill, taking on and off hazardous materials suits, simulation of assessing and treating persons injured in disaster, and learning to administer medications stored in the strategic national stockpile. BDLS meets the federal register requirements for HAZMAT awareness, and ADLS meets the federal register requirements for HAZMAT operations. The next ADLS course is scheduled for April 2-4, 2009.



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