Introduction Preparing health care professionals to deal with emergencies is a complex and costly process. The training process requires not only the provision of the knowledge and skills required for the task, but also the need for the knowledge and skills to be retained over time. E-learning technologies that have been developing over the past two decades are providing educators with an important tool that has contributed to the ability to achieve this important goal. Objectives To conduct a systematic review of peer-reviewed and non peer-reviewed published literature on the effectiveness of e-learning interventions in emergency preparedness programs. Methods The study was performed by reviewing relevant publications identified through various search engines such as Google, PubMed, Cochrane, and Dynamed. The keywords used in the search: e-learning, emergency preparedness, continuing medical education, electronic or distant training, disasters mitigation through teaching and education, blended education. Characteristics of E-Learning in Training for Emergency Preparedness E-learning is defined as the utilization of electronic communication and information technologies to achieve learning. Unlimited information can be stored and used consistently in as many sessions as desired, by various instructive means such as lectures, chat-rooms, downloadable documents, pictures, or video-films. The trainees can be selective regarding the amount of time allocated to the educational session. The elearning enables different degrees of interactivity between instructors and trainees and allows the instructor to monitor the trainees' progress. E-learning allows for self-study, group-study and even holistic organizational study of emergency preparedness. It can be used as a means for developing early training programs for emergency preparedness, or for on-the-job training. E-learning enables the implementation of training programs to import knowledge and skills to an unlimited number of personnel due to its high accessibility. Simulations of complex real-live emergency scenarios provide the opportunity for trainees to experience the dynamics of dealing with an emergency. Following the initial funding needed for development, this method is an efficient and cost-effective way to train medical teams to deal with large-scale emergency scenarios. Additional information can easily be provided, when required allowing for updating information if new threats are identified, and also integrating lessons learned from actual events. Conclusions E-learning is an advanced and effective education tool aimed at promoting emergency preparedness of health care professionals. There is a need to study the impact of e-learning on disaster management in order to present evidence-based data on the effectiveness of this method in developing and retaining knowledge and skills for emergency preparedness.
|Title of host publication||Handbook of Lifelong Learning Developments|
|Publisher||Nova Science Publishers, Inc.|
|Number of pages||26|
|State||Published - 1 Jan 2010|