High-fidelity multiactor emergency preparedness training for patient care providers


  • Lancer A. Scott, MD
  • P. Tim Maddux, BS
  • Jennifer Schnellmann, PhD, ELS
  • Lauren Hayes, BS
  • Jessica Tolley, BS
  • Amy E. Wahlquist, MS




high-fidelity simulation, simulator, simulation, performance, performance-based, emergency preparedness, disaster medicine, disaster training, training, medical trainee, medical student, health professional, healthcare worker, first responder, emergency m


Background: Providing comprehensive emergency preparedness training (EPT) for patient care providers is important to the future success of emergency preparedness operations in the United States. Disasters are rare, complex events involving many patients and environmental factors that are difficult to reproduce in a training environment. Few EPT programs possess both competency-driven goals and metrics to measure life-saving performance during a multiactor simulated disaster.
Methods: The development of an EPT curriculum for patient care providers—provided first to medical students, then to a group of experienced disaster medical providers—that recreates a simulated clinical disaster using a combination of up to 15 live actors and six high-fidelity human simulators is described. Specifically, the authors detail the Center for Health Professional Training and Emergency Response’s (CHPTER’s) 1-day clinical EPT course including its organization, core competency development, medical student self-evaluation, and course assessment.
Results: Two 1-day courses hosted by CHPTER were conducted in a university simulation center. Students who completed the course improved their overall knowledge and comfort level with EPT skills.
Conclusions: The authors believe this is the first published description of a curriculum method that combines high-fidelity, multiactor scenarios to measure the life-saving performance of patient care providers utilizing a clinical disaster scenario with >10 patients at once. A larger scale study, or preferably a multicenter trial, is needed to further study the impact of this curriculum and its potential to protect provider and patient lives.

Author Biographies

Lancer A. Scott, MD

Assistant Professor, Department of Emergency Medicine, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina.

P. Tim Maddux, BS

College of Medicine, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina.

Jennifer Schnellmann, PhD, ELS

Associate Professor, Department of Clinical Pharmacy and Outcomes Sciences, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina.

Lauren Hayes, BS

College of Medicine, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina.

Jessica Tolley, BS

College of Medicine, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina.

Amy E. Wahlquist, MS

Division of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina.


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How to Cite

Scott, MD, L. A., P. T. Maddux, BS, J. Schnellmann, PhD, ELS, L. Hayes, BS, J. Tolley, BS, and A. E. Wahlquist, MS. “High-Fidelity Multiactor Emergency Preparedness Training for Patient Care Providers”. American Journal of Disaster Medicine, vol. 7, no. 3, July 2012, pp. 175-88, doi:10.5055/ajdm.2012.0093.