Preparing healthcare professionals for disaster response

Korean Armed Forces Nursing Academy MOU, disaster healthcare

Senior officers from the Korean Armed Forces Nursing Academy at the annual disaster summer school

The University of South Wales (USW) is working with the South Korean Armed Forces Nursing Academy to train healthcare professionals in disaster response.

USW has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Korean Armed Forces Nursing Academy, which will see them sharing knowledge to further enhance training provision in the field of disaster nursing and humanitarian assistance.  

The MSc Disaster Healthcare course, which has been running as an online course for almost 20 years, is aimed at experienced healthcare professionals working in the humanitarian field, or those who would like to. It covers key areas of theory and practice that are relevant to healthcare in complex humanitarian disasters, from community resilience and response to recovery and rehabilitation.

In previous years, senior officers from the Nursing Academy have helped with the course’s annual disaster summer school. This week-long exercise is designed to simulate a different scenario each year where healthcare professionals would be called upon to help, such as in a war-torn country or following a natural disaster.

Attendees at the summer school gain practical experience through high-fidelity simulation in public health, covering such issues as water supply, sanitation, nutrition shelter, disease outbreak control, and mass casualty care.

The Nursing Academy will be sending military nurses to take part in this year’s disaster summer school, alongside students of the MSc Disaster Healthcare, which will be hosted by HAMK University of Applied Sciences in Finland.

Jeff Evans, Course Leader for MSc Disaster Healthcare, will also be speaking at the Nursing Academy’s 7th International Disaster Nursing Conference in South Korea in September.

Jeff said: “We have been informally involved with the Korean Armed Forces Nursing Academy for some years now. The MOU formalises that arrangement and will allow us to draw upon each other’s expertise to enhance the provision for our students.

“This will include exploring future opportunities for research and developing our curriculum, to make sure that we are continuing the reflect developments within the disaster healthcare field.”