Misztal-Okońska P, Goniewicz K, Hertelendy AJ, Khorram-Manesh A, Al-Wathinani A, Alhazmi RA, Goniewicz M
Healthcare (Basel) 8 (3) - [2020-07-09; online 2020-07-09]
In the event of a crisis, rapid and effective assistance for victims is essential, and in many cases, medical assistance is required. To manage the situation efficiently, it is necessary to have a proactive management system in place that ensures professional assistance to victims and the safety of medical personnel. We evaluated the perceptions of students and graduates in public health studies at the Medical University of Lublin, Poland, concerning their preparation and management skills for crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic. This pilot study was conducted in March 2020; we employed an online survey with an anonymous questionnaire that was addressed to students and graduates with an educational focus in healthcare organization and management. The study involved 55 people, including 14 men and 41 women. Among the respondents, 41.8% currently worked in a healthcare facility and only 21.7% of them had participated in training related to preparation for emergencies and disasters in their current workplace. The respondents rated their workplaces' preparedness for the COVID-19 pandemic at four points. A significant number of respondents stated that if they had to manage a public health emergency, they would not be able to manage the situation correctly and not be able to predict its development. Managers of healthcare organizations should have the knowledge and skills to manage crises. It would be advisable for them to have been formally educated in public health or healthcare administration. In every healthcare facility, it is essential that training and practice of performing medical procedures in full personal protective equipment (PPE) be provided. Healthcare facilities must implement regular training combined with practical live scenario exercises to prepare for future crises.