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Training Clinicians for Response to a Radiological or Nuclear Terrorism Attack

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and its Radiation Studies Branch in the National Center for Environmental Health asked the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) to develop a Web-based and CD-ROM training program to prepare clinicians—medical doctors and registered nurses in hospital emergency service settings—on how to locally respond to mass casualties that may involve radiological injuries.

The interactive, two-hour training, titled Radiological and Nuclear Terrorism: Medical Response to Mass Casualties includes a series of lectures on potential radiological incidents, response planning, decontamination principles, triage and treatment.

The program concludes with an opportunity to apply new knowledge and decision-making skills in a series of six simulated patient case studies depicting hypothetical radiological terrorism incidents. Additional resources such as a self-test and a computer settings guide are also included in the training.

More than 500 clinicians have completed either the online or CD-ROM course for continuing medical education credit.

Over a span of two years, the training Web site has been visited by more than 44,000 visitors in the United States, as well as China, Sweden, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, France, Philippines, Italy, India, Germany, Korea, Hong Kong and Taiwan.