INTRODUCING TRAINING TO RESPOND TO CHEMICAL INCIDENTS IN THE PHARMACY DEGREE AT THE UNIVERSITY OF SAN PABLO CEU (SPAIN)
1 De Montfort University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences (UNITED KINGDOM)
2 Universidad San Pablo CEU, Facultad de Farmacia (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Conference name: 9th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 3-5 July, 2017
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Abstract:The recent incident involving chemical warfare agents in Syria has highlighted the relevance of teaching medical preparedness and first response to manage these serious threats. Moreover, incidents involving chemical agents are increasing in prevalence (e.g. the Toledo tyre landfill fire in Spain in 2016). These incidents require a prompt response to minimise morbidity and mortality in the population affected that also considers a complete intervention programme to decontaminate and restore the impacted environment(s). A teaching group at De Montfort University (DMU, UK) and at the University of Alcalá (Spain) has created specific teaching content to train undergraduate human health students how to respond to chemical incidents following similar training previously developed for postgraduate students (Peña-Fernández et al., 2015). Part of this training is to provide knowledge about how to tailor an appropriate recovery response considering the chemical(s) involved and the environment affected; we have observed high levels of engagement within DMU’s biomedical and medical science students. To validate this training (research-led workshop), we have delivered it to pharmacy students enrolled in the module on Toxicology (fourth year module) at the University of San Pablo CEU (Spain) in 2016/17. The pharmacy degree programme at this university is 5 years long and is validated by the Spanish Agency for Quality Assessment and Accreditation (ANECA). Briefly: students enrolled in this module (n=14) were provided with a chemical incident scenario involving pharmaceutical drugs and personal care products (diclofenac, UV filters, benzylparaben). By working in pairs, these students developed a recovery and restoration response for two different sub-environments: open water and food production systems. Students have used the novel tool developed by Public Health England (PHE) named Chemical Recovery Navigation Tool (PHE, 2015). This tool follows the same methodology and resources described in the UK Recovery Handbook for Chemical Incidents (Wyke-Sanders et al., 2013). The workshop delivered was 2 hours long, and students received a 20 minute introduction about the PHE tools. The specific feedback questionnaire distributed gave the following results: 85.7% of students enjoyed the workshop provided (14.3% reported that they neither agree nor disagree). All of them have indicated that they would be able to establish some interventions to protect the public in the event of a chemical incident. Despite 42.9% of students reporting that the chemical tool was not easy to understand, all of them considered it aided their learning about environmental recovery and restoration (85.7% agreed; 14.3% strongly agreed). Up to 86% of students have indicated that they have learnt how to develop an appropriate recovery response. Finally, 42.9% students suggested the incorporation of more similar workshops within their course (42.9% agreed; 57.1% neither agree nor disagree) as well as more time to complete the exercise (3 hours instead 2).
Keywords: Pharmacy undergraduate students, chemical incidents training, public health, environmental recovery and restoration.