Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne Department of Nursing

Course Syllabus
Disaster Healthcare NUR 359

NUR 202 (first year Medical- Surgical Nursing) or healthcare background
Course Credits and Hours: 1 credit hour (lecture)
Non-credit enrollment is also available
Time and Place: Consecutive Friday and Saturday from
8:00 AM to 5:00 PM. January 25 and 26, 2008.
Internet access is necessary
Discussion Forum posting and responses due by February 24, 2008
Final Assignments (Paper, Personal Preparedness Plan, and Exam) due by March 17, 2008
Faculty: Carol Sternberger, PhD, RN, CNE
Course Description:
Introduction to disaster preparedness and the predictors of the types of injuries and illnesses related to various disasters. Presents information on biological, chemical, and radiological weapons, bioterrorism, environmental disasters, mental health and traumatic events, and homeland security. Focuses on the roles of responders in hospitals, medical facilities, and community agencies at the time of a disaster and the recovery period. Prepares nurses to respond to a disaster by discussing community hazards and vulnerabilities. Course is based on preparedness and incorporates the altered standards of care in mass causality events developed by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) and the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Public Health Emergency Preparedness, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). NIMS 100 and NIMS 700 certification are included through the FEMA training.
Course Objectives:
  • Examine alterations in standards of care might needed to respond to mass causality.
  • Consider issues to ensure an effective health and medical care response to a mass casualty event.
  • Present general disaster response including triage and treatment decisions.
  • Identify legal and ethical issues related to allocation of scarce resources in a mass casualty event.
  • Identify legal and ethical issues related to allocation of scarce resources in a mass casualty event.
  • Discuss treatment of special needs populations during a mass casualty.
  • Recognize the signs and symptoms of specific hazards and a trend of similar types of signs and symptoms.
  • Examine methods to recognize and manage of the effects of stress on themselves and their patients.
  • Discuss personal protective equipment, prophylaxis, and other protections that enable them to work safely.
  • Prepare personal preparedness plan.
Method of Instruction:
  • Lecture and Panel Discussion
  • Tabletop Exercises
  • Readings
  • On-line Discussion Forum
  • Multimedia
  • Round Table Discussions
  • Read: Deal, B.J., Fountain, R.A., Russell-Broaddus, C.A., & Stanley-Hermanns. (2006). Challenges and opportunities of nursing care in special -needs shelters. Disaster Management Response, 4(4), 100-105. The article is in Reserve Express. Read before class on Friday morning.
  • Participation in Tabletop Exercises
  • Personal Preparedness Plan
  • NIMS 100 and NIMS 700 Training Grade of Pass required for successful completion of NUR 359

  • Course Examination - online - Web-CT
  • Participation in Ethics Discussion. Assignment for Discussion Forum, read Ethics Paper "Stand on Guard for Thee" the link to this paper is on the homepage Web-Ct. Write your reactions and ideas for our community. You need to respond to 2 people in your group, "Ethics and Disasters" link for discussion is on the home page of Web-CT. Be certain that a variety of people receive responses. This is expected to be of high level thinking and analysis. Grade is based on quality of postings.
  • 6-7 page paper on approved topic related to disaster nursing (APA format). Page requirement does not include the title or reference pages.
  • Paper assignment "Disaster Paper.doc". (not necessary for non-credit)
Tabletop Exercises 50 points
Exam 100 points
Paper 100 points
Plan 50 points
Discussion 50 points
NIMS 100 P/F
NIMS 700 P/F
Total 350 points
Grading Scale:
92-100 A
84-91 B
75-83 C
67-74 D
66 and Below F

Suggested Readings:

American Academy of Pediatrics (n.d.). Children, terrorism, & disasters. Retrieved
           July 19, 2007, from
American Academy of Pediatrics (2004). Family readiness kit. Preparing to handle
          disasters. Retrieved July 18, 2007 from
American Medical Association (2004). Bioterrorism articles. Journals of the
           American Medical Association. Retrieved July 16, 2007, from

American Red Cross (2001a). Disaster services. Retrieved June 15, 2007 from

American Red Cross (2001b). Family disaster planning. Retrieved July 15, 2007, from

American Red Cross (2001c). Terrorism preparing for the unexpected. Retrieved
          July 15, 2007 from
American Red Cross (2002). In the news. Retrieved July 15, 2007, from
American Red Cross (2004a). Nursing. Retrieved February 9, 2004, from,1082,0_327_,00.html
American Red Cross (2004b). Disaster Services. Retrieved June 10, 2007 from
Arizona Department of Health Services (2001). Definition of bioterrorism. Epidemiology and
           surveillance. Retrieved July 17, 2007, from  

CMHS (2003). Self-care tips for emergency and disaster response workers. Retrieved
          July 20, 2007, from Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, The
           Center for Mental Health Services, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
           Web site: For Managing The Emergency Consequences Of Terrorist Incidents;
           Retrieved January 14, 2004, from, (2003a). Are you ready? A guide to citizen preparedness.
       Retrieved May 6, 2003, from (2004). National Response Plan. Retrieved June 20, 2007
Joint Commission on Accreditation of Health Care Organizations. (2004).
       Facts about the Emergency Management Standards. Retrieved January 14, 2004, from
Light, C.H. (2003). Statement of Catherine H. Light, Director, Office of National Security Affairs.
          Federal Response Plan. Retrieved June 09, 2007, from Web site:  

Resources for Parents & Teachers (n.d.). Terrorism-related resources. Retrieved July 12, 2007 from
          FEMA for Kids Web site:
Songer, T. (1999). Definition of a disaster. Epidemiology of Disasters. Retrieved July 14, 2007, from
United States Department of Health and Human Services (2003). Disasters and emergencies.
           Retrieved July 22, 2007, from
University of Pittsburgh (2003). Center for Biosecurity of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center
          (UPMC). Retrieved July 19, 2007, from,
CDC Centers For Disease Control.