Healthcare workers receive bioterrorism response training through simulations

Doctors and nurses are receiving hands-on training by diagnosing simulated patients and developing a treatment plan in order to prepare for public health emergencies such as bioterrorism.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has listed 45 pathogens that could be used as bioterror weapons, including anthrax, botulism, smallpox and the plague. Studies in recents years showed healthcare workers did not feel adequately prepared to respond during a bioterrorist attack, Guardian Liberty Voice reports.

Weaponized biological agents used in an attack may differ from common disease pathogens. Plague variants are rare in standard hospital activities, which could lead to a patient with common symptoms such as coughing, fever, nausea or vomiting. Simulated emergency exercises are meant to educate healthcare workers about possible agents used for bioterrorism and train them how to respond in the event of a bioterrorist attack, according to Guardian Liberty Voice.

Following hands-on simulation, healthcare workers and medical students reported higher confidence in initiating standard procedures and protocol measures.