Jan 28, 2014

Students gear up to help in a disaster

VERMILLION, S.D. -- More than 300 health care students will converge in Vermillion on Jan. 31 to ready themselves to assist others in a potential, future disaster.

Disaster Training Day, held on the University of South Dakota (USD) campus, is designed to prepare future health care professionals to assist their communities should a disaster strike. In the past three years, 1,037 students have participated with 267 becoming certified in Core Disaster Life Support (CDLS) from the National Disaster Life Support Foundation (NDLSF). South Dakota is no stranger to disasters. Since the beginning of 2010, there have been 12 federally declared disasters in the state.

Along with CDLS certification, students will be given the opportunity to register with the Statewide Emergency Registry of Volunteers in South Dakota (SERV SD). This registry coordinates the pre-registration of medical and healthcare professionals who are willing to volunteer during disaster situations.

CDLS training will be provided by six NDLSF certified instructors from South Dakota who will cover the essentials of disaster preparedness and how to perform effectively and safely in a disaster. Additional breakout sessions are focused on triage, anaphylaxis, psych first aid, immunizations and points of dispensing (POD). Sessions will be led by University faculty, Department of Health employees, Physician Leaders, and First Responders.

There are 325 health care students registered for Disaster Training Day on Jan. 31. Disciplines participating include pharmacy and doctor of nursing practice from South Dakota State University along with the following students from USD: dental hygiene, masters in social work, clinical lab science, nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy, physician assistant, physician and clinical psychology.

The South Dakota Department of Health (DOH), the USD Sanford School of Medicine, USD School of Health Sciences, SDSU, the Regional Training Center for Upper Midwest and the Yankton Rural Area Health Education Center (YRAHEC) coordinated the event. The day is funded by the South Dakota DOH through a federal Health and Human Services grant.

For more information about South Dakota disaster preparedness training, contact Cheri Buffington in Yankton, S.D., at 605-655-1400.

About AHEC

The South Dakota Area Health Education Center (SD AHEC) has a mission to “connect students to careers, professionals to communities, and communities to better health.”   Established in 2009 through a HRSA grant awarded to the Sanford School of Medicine, the statewide program currently has two centers, the Yankton Rural AHEC and the Northeast AHEC.

About The University of South Dakota
Founded in 1862, The University of South Dakota is designated as the only public liberal arts university in the state and is home to a comprehensive College of Arts and Sciences, School of Education, School of Health Sciences, the state's only School of Law, School of Medicine, the accredited Beacom School of Business and the College of Fine Arts. USD has an enrollment of more than 10,000 students taught by more than 400 faculty members. More information is available at www.usd.edu/press/news.

This material is available in an alternate format upon request. Please contact University Relations at 605-677-5759. If you are a person with a disability and need a special accommodation to fully participate in any university activity or event, please contact Disability Services at 605-677-6389 as soon as possible, but no later than 48 hours before the event, so that appropriate arrangements may be made.


Peter Carrels
The University of South Dakota
(605) 216-1233
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414 East Clark Street • Vermillion, SD 57069
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