New Course Prepares Nurses for Bioterrorism

ST. LOUIS - Nurses who are worried about how to possibly handle the ramifications of a bioterrorism attack have a new educational tool at their use.

The Saint Louis University School of Nursing are providing a unique certification program, beginning Feb. 3, to educate nurses about such a possibility.

"Our disaster preparedness certificate program is based upon what we learned when we visited Israel to find out how nurses there deal with terrorism," says Dorothy James, PhD, assistant professor of nursing at Saint Louis University. "Four faculty members - two from our school of nursing and two from the Center for the Study of Bioterrorism in our School of Public Health - traveled to the Hadassah Medical Organization last October to see what Israeli healthcare professionals to after a terror attack. Terrorism is a part of everyday life in Israel and we knew Israeli nurses had special expertise to share. Now, we're sharing those proved procedures and practices with nurses in the United States."

Nurses in the program will participate in 10 sessions - six course classes and four selected from 12 electives. The information is also available through distance learning.

"What we learned in Israel can make a different in the way American nurses respond to calls of mass casualties," says James. "We are determined to share the knowledge with as many nurses who request it."

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